Founder member of Mission Justice
HRDA has issued an urgent appeal to the National Human Rights Commission of India on 5 April, 2019 regarding the illegal arrest and torture of human rights defender Mr.Tapan Padhi by the Odisha Police under false charges.
On 17 March, 2019 Mr. Padhi was detained by Inspector In Charge (IIC) of Chowdar police station, Cuttack from his residence. On enquiry by Mr.Padhi as to why he is being asked to come to the police station, the IIC replied that it is regarding some enquiry. While leaving, the IIC collected Mr. Padhi’s mobile phone and laptop and other electronic items. Instead of Chowdar police station, he was taken to Panikoli police station in Jajpur district which was about 35 km away. He was tortured in police custody for two consecutive days (March 17 and 18, 2019). Thereafter, false and fabricated charges were registered against Mr. Padhi, under Sections 292, 294, 506, 507, 34 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and 66A, 66C, 67, 67A of Information Technology Act, 2000 (IT Act). It was only after the registration of the fabricated charges that Mr. Padhi was produced before the Court. Another FIR was filed against Mr. Padhi by Sub Inspector of Police, Panikoli, police station, Mr. Kailash Chandra Bhoi, bearing case No. 42/2019, under sections 292, 294, 506, 507, 34 IPC and 66(A), 66(C), 67 and 67(A) of the IT Act, 2000. No arrest memo was made, no lawyer was provided during interrogation and access to friend or family was denied.
HRDA has prayed for impartial inquiry into the illegal arrest and torture of Mr. Padhi and immediate order for his treatment outside the jail premises.