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Illegal detention, arrest and custodial torture of HRDs under fabricated charges by West Bengal Police

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Jayeeta Das, Pratik Bhowmik and Sheikh Hasibur 

Activists

West Bengal

HRDA issued an urgent appeal to the National Human Rights Commission on May 4, 2022, over the illegal detention, arrest, and custodial torture of HRDs Ms Jayeeta Das, Mr Pratik Bhowmik and Mr Sheikh Hasibur under fabricated charges by the West Bengal Police. 

Ms Jayeeta Das is a senior activist who has participated in many people’s movements in the past two decades, including the Nandigram movement. Mr Pratik Bhowmik and Mr Hasibur Sk are members of Shramik Krishak Aikya Mancha, an organization that works toward protecting the rights of workers, farmers, and other marginalized groups in West Bengal. They have organized several public meetings and demonstrations and were actively involved in addressing the issues of migrant workers during the COVID-19 lockdowns. 

On January 1, 2022, the Special Task Force Police Station, Kolkata Police registered an FIR (1/2022) regarding the discovery of a black backpack, which contained some hand-written pamphlets of the banned CPI(Maoist), a pen drive and a few current affairs magazines. No accused were named in the FIR registered under sections 120B, 121, 121A, 122, 123, and 124A of the Indian Penal Code. 

On March 23, 2022, at around 10.30 pm, Mr. Pratik Bhowmik and Mr. Hasibur Sk were illegally detained when they were returning home from a nearby village and kept at the Nowda Police Station till the morning of March 25. They were not told about any case against them or their arrest. On March 29, 2022, around 12 PM, personnel from Haringhata Police Station in Nadia district apprehended Ms. Jayeeta Das from the Boro Jaguli area and took her to an empty house, where she was detained for nearly seven hours. 

The brazen, illegal manner of Ms. Das, Mr. Bhowmik and Mr. Hasibur’s arrest and illegal detention is in violation of the DK Basu guidelines. The torture and intimidation of Mr. Hasibur and Mr. Bhowmik in police custody are also against national and international human rights. We petitioned the Hon’ble Commission to direct its investigation wing of the NHRC to initiate an independent and impartial investigation into this matter. 

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