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30 October 2010
National Commission for Protection of Child Rights
5th Floor, Chanderlok Building
New Delhi – 1
I want to draw your attention over an incident where an orphan boy belong to Schedule Tribe community died at ‘Anandashram’, government run home for juveniles as well as child in need of protection and shelter. The death of the boy unearthed the fact of heinous involvement of the authority of the said ‘Home’ in various illegal acts and activities, which include physical torture, deprivation of food and proper medical care, involving minors in sexual acts and sodomy. The whole affair of the said home is in contradiction with basic tenet to provide care and protection to children or otherwise subjugate them with sadistic pleasures.
Rajen Murmu, aged about 14 years, son of Late Paher Murmu of Village – Garet Danga (Madhunia), Post Office- Amrita Kundu under Nabagram Police Station of Murshidabad was an inmate of the said home from year 2007. As Rajen lost his immediate guardians; one of his distant relative; Mr. Motilal Murmu of same address admitted him to Anandashram in standard II in the year 2007.
Rajen with his co- inmates were protesting the maltreatment and other illegal acts of home authorities, which made them more vulnerable and exposed to further intensified torture. As reported by the sources that to curb the increasing rebuttal of illegal acts of the authority; they made division among the inmates. They provided few extra benefits to a section of few and involved them in their immoral acts.
According to the complaint made by the Ms. Puti Hembram; cousin sister of the deceased, she guessed that the boy was killed by the Superintendent of the said Home; Mr. Subham Das with other staffs on 29.09.10 at night. His death was not even informed to the immediate guardians of the boy, as well as while inquest over his body was made by one deputy magistrate; Mr. Sadhan Kumar Sharma on 30.09.2010, none of them (family members/ relatives) were present or their statements have been recorded. The Post Mortem Examination was done by Dr. Swapan Kumar Mondal, a general physician, not an autopsy expert at Baharampur New General Hospital on same date. The inquest procedure was against the NHRC guidelines on custodial death as well as Criminal Procedure Code.
Further they were misinformed on 30.09.2010 to accept the body after post mortem examination and gave Ms. Puti Hembram Rs. 2000 and the said super of the home said’ nothing will happen by complaining’. During the whole process; the near ones of the Rajen was kept in dark. Ms. Puti Hembram also commented in his complaint that they were forced to receive the body by the authority.
It was also reported by the complainant that to shield their heinous crime, the home authority fabricated charges against three innocent inmates of the said home; Raj Murmu, Mangal Mardi and Bhanjan Marjit, who were happened to be buddies of the said deceased boy. Those three boys were kept confined in a room of the said Home by the authority and were denying movement till date, which can be said as ‘solitary confinement’.
The Berhampore Police Station initiated an unnatural death case vide Behrampore U/D case no. 764/10 dated 30.09.2010 and after a complaint made by Ms. Puti Hembram to Inspector in Charge of the same police station, a criminal case has been initiated by the police against Subham Das; Superintendent and other Staffs of Ananda Ashram under sections 302/201of Indian Penal Code; vide Berhampore PS Case No. 774/10 dated 09.10.2010.
Later, on 27.10.2010 at 8.30 p.m two of employees of the Ananda Ashram; Ranjan Byapari and Karuna Karna were arrested but the main accused in FIR Mr. Subham Das; Superintendent of the said Home still at large.
Till date, no significant progress has been observed as far the investigation is concerned as the main culprit has not been arrested and visiting the police station in regular interval; which is detrimental to investigation process. In first instance police was reluctant to take cognizance in accordance to the complaint made by Ms. Puti Hembram but after intervention of our organization and constant pressure from other civil society bodies forced the related police station to register the First Information Report (FIR). Reluctance of police to proceed only proves the connivance between the culprits and police.
Hence we solicit immediate intervention of your Commission on the said incident and an impartial investigation by your commission, and we also demand total compliance of National Human Rights Commission’s guidelines on Custodial Death and an in-depth investigation on the affairs of homes for Juveniles as well as other children who are at stake.
Here we are placing written statements/ complaints of inmates of the said Home in verbatim to prove actual affairs of said Juvenile Home.
· Often we have to go to school either without having food, or half cooked rice and curry, home authority engaged us in every menial jobs
· Previously, authority provided us clothes 4-5 times in a year, but now they are providing only twice a year
· Who are employed to look after us; are gossiping throughout the day, two teachers happened to came but the Superintendent driven them out
· The Superintendent arrange regular drinking spree in his official quarter inside the home, and sometime in an inebriated condition attacked us and physically tortured us
· Ranjan Byapari and Karuna Karna; two employees of the home, often allure us for food and education and calling us to their rooms, but to show nude photographs and obscene films for sodomy. While protesting and trying to rectify the co-inmates from this immoral acts, the three above mentioned inmates were falsely implicated with the murder of Rajen Murmu
· There are few obscene material inside the home which is not acceptable by us as students
· We are not getting proper medical care, while visiting to get medicines, the employees verbally abused us with filthiest language and referring our family/ parents
· Most of the day, the home authority engaged us in extreme and rigorous physical jobs
· Two women employees; Rita and Seema had immoral relation with Debu and Nandi; which is against the healthy atmosphere of our home
· Contraceptives are littering all around the home premise
· The home authority threatening us with dire consequences; if we make complaints
We are ready to co operate your Commission in every possible way, if such investigation will initiate by the Commission.
National Convenor, PACTI