PUCL Bulletin, May 2001

Begusarai PUCL, Bihar
Death in prison of T. A. K Murty

T.A.K. Murty of Chennai died in Munghyr jail sometime ago. Jaya Krishnamurty, the wife of the deceased, contacted Shri Vinay Kant, vice president of Bihar PUCL. On his request Shri Ramashraya Prasad Singh, president of Begusarai and Shri Arun Kumar, Chief editor of Manavadhikar and a member of Bihar state Council went to Munghyr to investigate the facts. The deceased, T.A.K. Murty was an undertrial prisoner in the Munghyr jail, he was under orders of the CJM Court, Munghyr P.S. case no. 290/97 U/S 406,407,420 and 467. He was admitted to the jail hospital on September 5th 1997 for treatment of 'loose motions'. According to Assistant jailor Ram Chandra Mahto, Murty had taken an injection at 9 in the morning. When Budhen Sau, the compounder saw during his morning round, he found him frothing at the mouth and dead. SDO A.K. Malik prepared the report of his death for the submission to the DM. A copy was sent to the NHRC along with a photocopy of the inquest report, post mortem report, magisterial enquiry and the video cassette of the post mortem.

A medical board consisting of Dr. Rajkumar (Civil Asst. Surgeon, Munghyr Sadar hospital) Dr. Wahabuddin (Civil Asst. Surgeon, Munghyr Sadar hospital), and Dr. Sunil Kumar Singh, (Civil Asst. Surgeon, Munghyr Sadar hospital) was set up.. The Board wrote in its reports, "post mortem could not find any external or internal injury over the body in even on die section. Cause of death could not be ascertained". The time of death was given us between 24 -36 hours. This statement was made at 1-30 pm on November 9, 1997.

According to the Civil Surgeon Dr. M.L. Ali, Murty was brought to the hospital at 8-15 in the morning on November 9, 1997. Since he was brought dead, he was not admitted and the body was sent. Later on a letter was received from the Jail Superintendent for Post Mortem, which was conducted as above.
According to the statement of Dr. Ali, Murty was brought to the Sadar Hospital on November 9, 1997 at 8-15 in the morning, whereas according to the letter of jail superintendent Murty was sent to the Emergency ward of the Sadar Hospital on November 8, 1997. Further, the clothing of the deceased and viscera was sent for forensic test on November 24, 1997. The forensic report has not yet come though it is now more than 3 years and 5 months.

The PUCL enquiry report says that they're no proper facility of drinking water and for bathing. The toilets are old and traditional which the sweepers clean though these are now illegal. The capacity of the prison is 450 males and 3 females though it is now housing 937 males, 15 females and 6 children, who are living with their convicted mothers. There are 42 Warders in place of 78. The report further says that there are sufficient reasons to demand a thorough enquiry in this incident, and the kin of the deceased should be awarded compensation.

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A large number of members of Begusarai PUCL condemned the attack on Shri Niranjan Kumar Advocate, member of the PUCL, by some criminals and urged the authorities to arrest the guilty. They expressed their anger on the increasing attacks on advocates in Bihar of late. Those who sighed the press statements include Shri Ramashraya Prasad Singh, President Begusarai PUCL; Shri ram Murty Prasad Singh, General Secretary; Shri Ram Naresh Sharma, Shri Arun Kumar, Shri Vashishta Kumar Ambashth, Shri Prabhakar Maharaj, Shri Suresh Kumar Rai, Shri Lakshmi Kanth Paswan, Shri Mahendra Sahni, Parmanand Sharma, and Shri Krishna Kumar Gupta.

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A meeting of the Begusarai PUCL and Manavadhikar with the residents of village Barauni was held on January 21 on the campus of girls' middle school. The meeting was presided over by Dr. Madaneshwar Dutta and conducted by Mantun Kumar. The residents of Barauni showed a keen interest in the Human Rights movement and they invited the Begusarai PUCL to hold its Convention in Barauni. The President of Begusarai PUCL, Shri Ramashraya Prasad Singh accepted the invitation. Different speakers spoke on the PUCL and movement for Human Rights and Civil Liberties. The meeting was attended by a very large number of advocates, teachers, journalists, and others. -- From Manavadhikar, December 2000- March 2001

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