The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Wednesday took a suo motu cognizance of media reports of three women being tortured in police custody and it issued a notice to Assam chief secretary and the DGP.
The commission has sought a detailed report of the alleged torture of three women inside a Burha police outpost in Darrang district.
“Reportedly, the incident took place while they were being interrogated by the police in connection to a case related to their brother, who had allegedly eloped with a girl from a different religion,” the NHRC stated.
“The news reports mentioned that one of the women was two-month pregnant and due to injuries the pregnancy had to be terminated,” it said.
NHRC observed that the contents of the media reports, if true, raise a serious issue of violation of human rights.
“The chief secretary and DGP of the state were asked to submit a detailed report on the matter within four weeks,” the NHRC said.
“The report should include medical treatment record of the victim and present status of her health condition,” the NHRC said.
It further said the report must furnish whether prior permission of the Judicial Magistrate taken by the police to arrest the women victims on September 8 night.
“The Commission would also like to know whether any steps have been taken by the state authorities to provide any kind of relief and counselling to the victims,” the statement added.
The rights panel also observed that as reported in the media, the police authorities have violated Section 46 (4) of the CrPC by picking up the women victims, after the sunset.
“Brother of the victims is reportedly wanted in a criminal case and not the victims,” the commission said.
“Police authorities had taken the victims in custody, in an illegal manner,” the commission added.
“The reported medical condition of one of the sisters is indicative of the fact that they were tortured by the police,” it further said.
The Assam government had already suspended the in-charge of Burha police outpost and constable Nilima Boro for their involvement in torturing the three sisters.
Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has ordered a probe into the allegation of torture.
Meanwhile, the National Commission for Women (NCW) has also asked for a detailed report from Assam DGP over the incident.
“The commissioner has directed DGP Assam and asked him to take up the matter urgently and ensure that the miscreants are given stern punishment,” a statement issued by the NCW said.
While activists Mukutlochan Kalita and Tarun Deka lodged complaints with the Assam State Commission for Human Rights regarding the incident, RTI activist and Swaraj Asom convener Bhaben Handique lodged another complaint online with the NHRC.
(With inputs from our New Delhi correspondent).