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29 Nov 2020

The Secretary General,

National Human Rights Commission,

New Delhi

26th November 2020


Subject: Request for NHRC to intervene in the matter of the death in judicial custody of an accused lodged in Mandoli Jail

Hon’ble Sir,

PUDR would like to draw your attention to the death of a 24 year old man Mesar, in Mandoli jail, Delhi on 11th November and the contradictions that have emerged in the official version of the incident. Mesar alias Salman was allegedly caught stealing a tempo and assaulted by its owner and the locals in Kabir Nagar on the night of 10th November around 2 am. The police was informed of the incident at the Welcome Nagar PS and on its arrival was handed over a brutally thrashed Mesar. According to the statement given to the media by DCP (north-east), Mesar was first taken to the Jag Pravesh Chandra Hospital for his medical and subsequently an FIR under sections 379 (theft) and 411 (dishonestly receiving stolen property) of the IPC was registered against him. The next day on 11th November, he was produced before the court, in front of Metropolitan Magistrate Mayank Mittal and was sent to judicial custody to Mandoli. On the same day, late in the night, Mesar complained of pain and was taken to Hedgewar Hospital from Mandoli jail where he passed away.  A judicial inquiry has been initiated into the incident of death. On the other hand, Mesar’s family, speaking to the media, has said that he was tortured at Welcome PS. Mesar’s wife received a call from Welcome PS about his arrest where Mesar also spoke to his wife and his younger brother on 11th November forenoon.  Mesar had informed his relatives that he had been brutally assaulted though he did not specify by whom and where. They claimed to have visited the PS to meet Mesar on being informed of his arrest but were not allowed to meet. The family has claimed that when they were called to the GTB hospital to see his dead body on 12th November, they could see a head injury, broken arms, bruises on the face and visible damages to the chest. The DCP has denied the allegations levelled by the family suggesting that Mesar may have succumbed to injuries he sustained while being thrashed by the public. The police has not recovered any vehicle from the spot nor has any FIR been filed into the incident of public beating though the DCP has said, they are considering legal actions against the owner of the vehicle and the persons involved in the thrashing. No persons have been identified so far.

Following questions emerge from the facts cited above. The police’s version suggests that Mesar had sustained severe injuries after being assaulted by the people at Kabir Nagar implying that he may have succumbed to those injuries later. If so, why was he given a medical clearance, was produced before a Magistrate and sent to judicial custody instead of being given proper medical treatment. If Mesar’s medical report was clear before his production, and if no torture took place in the police station, did Mesar sustain injuries after being sent to the jail?

PUDR senses, at the very least, negligence in police custody with regard to his medical condition and dereliction on part of the Magistrate in ensuring treatment and protection during the production hearing, or assault in custody whether police or judicial. We urge your intervention in the matter to ensure an FIR is registered into the incident of death of Mesar in custody, his medical report of prepared before his production hearing as well his post-mortem report be given to the family and compensation be awarded to the wife of the deceased.

We look forward for a positive response.

Yours faithfully

Radhika Chitkara, Vikas Kumar