PW approaches NHRC against Police torture of journalist

The arrest of a Bhubaneswar based scribe issue took a new turn when a human rights group approached NHRC alleging serious human rights violation. People’s Watch requested NHRC and SHRC to take necessary action against the law violators. CASE OF Police torture and illegal arrest of a Bhubaneswar based journalist took a new turn on Wednesday (August 26), when a human rights group approached Indian National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and alleged serious human right violation.

People’s Watch, a national level organisation working for the protection of civil rights of the citizen, approached NHRC and State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) to intervene the case and requested the authority to take necessary action against the law violators.

In a petition to NHRC, the organisation alleged that the police officials had misbehaved, beaten and dragged the journalist to the police vehicle during the arrest in a local market.

“Forty one-year-old Biswambar Baliarsingh, editor of a weekly newspaper ‘Ghurnibatya’ was continuously writing about the common man’s problem and police atrocity. So, Orissa police has arbitrary and intentionally arrested the journalist,” said Manoj Jena, co-coordinator of People’s Watch, who recently headed a fact finding team and met the arrested journalist in the Bhubaneswar Jharpada Jail.

In its petition People’s Watch alleged that Doleswar Nayak, the assistant sub-inspector (ASI) of Balipatana Police station, on August 16, 2009, evening came with four constables to near by Adalabad Market when the journalist was busy for marketing. The ASI dragged the journalist into police vehicle without informing the cause of his arrest and used slang and unparliamentary languages and beaten him ruthlessly. Even the police didn’t allow him to inform his family members about this arrest.

In police custody neither he was served any dinner nor allowed to urinate. The plight didn’t end there. On very next day when he was forwarded to a local court, again Biswambar Baliarsingh had to face the misbehaviour of the police inside the courtroom. The arrested journalist told the fact finding team, informed Jena.

Baliarsingh further narrates the incident before the fact finding team. He met the branch manager of local Rajas Neelachal Gramya Bank of Balipatna on July 25, 2009, and requested for a loan. Then after three days when he visited the bank, Baliarsingh noticed that a local farmer was having a serious argument with the branch manager over a loan issue. He intervened and solved the matter between the two. And than after waiting for more than three hours when he tried to talk to the bank manager, suddenly the latter ordered the watchman to move out the people along with Baliarsingh. He also tried to convince the manager that he was not an intruder rather an invitee by him.

“In the first week of August, the bank officer came with some goons and threatened me to kill if I further argue with him. At that time some villagers were also present. When I asked the manager why he was accompanied by goons, they abused me. At the intervention of the villagers the mater was solved there,” Baliarsingh said to the fact finding team.

In the meantime the journalist came to know that the manager had filed an FIR against him under Balipatna Police station. The journalist also filed an FIR against the manager before the
commissioner of Bhubaneswar Police through registered post. But no action was taken. On the other hand, police made his arrest without any investigation, alleges Manoj.

People’s Watch also demands before Orissa government to take necessary actions against the police officials.

CJ Akhand, Meri News

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