Mr. Arjun Lal (57) is a social and political activist, associated with the Communist Party of India (Marxist Leninist) Liberation since 2001 and serves at its the District Secretary in Sitapur. Ms. Sarojini Devi (50) is associated with All India Progressive Women's Association (AIPWA) and serves as its district president in Sitapur.
Both are noted HRDs and have been involved in the fight for rights of the marginalised in UP for decades.
On August 14, 2022, the Hargaon police detained a few members from the Dalit community and took them to Hargaon police station. Mr. Arjun Lal along with a few others went to the police station to inquire about the detention. The police did not provide any answers and instead assaulted and tortured the group inside the police station. This group was subsequently detained and arrested.
At around 3 pm, Ms. Sarojini Devi with some local women went to the police station to inquire about Mr. Arjun Lal and others. When police did not respond to their queries, they staged a protest at the police station. The police assaulted the group and detained them, but released them at around 7 pm.
Human Rights Defenders Alert sent an urgent appeal to the National Human Rights Commission over the illegal arrest, custodial torture and fabricated charges against the HRDs.
We appeal to the Hon’ble Commission to urgently take action and and direct the Director General of Police of Uttar Pradesh to initiate an immediate, independent, thorough, transparent, and impartial investigation into the above- mentioned incident of custodial torture and violation of the DK Basu guidelines by police personnel.