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Barak Human Rights Protection Committee (BHRPC) is pleased to forward the following

Urgent Appeal issued by Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) regarding risk of life
of Mr. Ramananda Taorem is a lawyer practicing in Imphal, Manipur, who is in severe
condition following torture in custody. So far no proper investigation has been conducted and
no complaint has been registered. It is believed that the victim's injuries may be fatal. You are
urged to send appeals to the concerned authorities and disseminate it widely.

Waliullah Ahmed Laskar


Information Division, BHRPC
Rongpur Part Part-IV, Silchar-9,
Assam, India
Email: bhrpc.net@gmail.com
Wali.laskar@gmail.com

Guwahati, 26 February, 2010

BHRPC URL of the document: http://groups.google.co.in/group/bhrpc/web/INDIA--A


%20lawyer%27s%20life%20is%20at%20risk%20after%20custodial%20torture.pdf?hl=en

INDIA: A lawyer's life is at risk after custodial torture

ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION – URGENT APPEALS PROGRAMME

Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-015-2010

25 February 2010
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INDIA: A lawyer's life is at risk after custodial torture

ISSUES: Human rights defenders; impunity; custodial torture


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Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has learned that a lawyer in Manipur is
in a severe condition following torture in custody. So far no proper investigation has
been conducted and no complaint has been registered. It is believed that the victim's
injuries may be fatal.

CASE DETAILS:
Mr. Ramananda Taorem is a lawyer practicing in Imphal, Manipur. He was arrested on 14
September 2009 at about 3pm at the office of the All Manipur United Clubs Organisation
(AMUCO) by officers from the Imphal West Police Commando Unit. According to our
information the arresting officers had no arrest memo, which is a statutory requirement in
Indian law. He was taken to a nearby police station, then to the Police Commando Complex
at Minuthong where he was allegedly assaulted and tortured with electric shocks to his
genitals.

Ramananda was accused by police of being a member of an armed opposition group that
operates in the state, and a case was registered against him under the provisions of the
Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967; Official Secrets Act, 1923; the National Security
Act, 1980 and under Sections 121 and121-A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. The police
produced him in the court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM), Imphal, where the
magistrate ruled that he should be remanded in custody for 15 days.

The authorities detained the victim at the Sajiwa Central Jail until December 2009, where,
like most other detainees he was denied the basic facilities necessary to sustain his life,
including warm clothes and a bed. The victim was forced to sleep on the cement floor despite
his injuries from the police torture.

At the time of arrest Ramananda was receiving treatment for cardiac ailments, and his
conditions of detention and torture worsened his condition. We are told that the police denied
requests by Ramananda's family to send him medicines from outside the jail.

The authorities released the victim on 24 December and the state government withdrew all
cases against him, raising serious doubts regarding the grounds for his arrest. The AHRC
would like to note that this is a routine occurrence, as you can read in our reports on the
detention and torture of Mr. Jiten Yumnam, a human rights defender (UAC-122-2009).
Yumnam was arrested in similar circumstances in Manipur on the same day.

After his release from custody Ramananda was admitted to Manipur's Regional Institute of
Medical Sciences (RIMS) on 27 December in poor physical condition and unable to speak.
His right leg is suffering from monoparesis (paresis affecting a single extremity or part of a
limb), which badly affects his mobility, and he was also diagnosed with pneumonia, cerebral
embolism and as a result, facial nerve palsy. Doctors have told him that advanced and
specialised medical treatment will be necessary otherwise his injuries could become fatal. He
is finding difficult to return to normal life.

For further details regarding incidents related to this case involving other persons arrested
along with Ramananda, please see AHRC-UAU-026-2009. Please also read: Impunity must
END in Manipur and The state of the republic is showcased in Manipur for further details
regarding the use of force by state agencies in Manipur and related issues.
SUGGESTED ACTION:

Please write to the authorities named below to guarantee Ramananda's safety and to urge an
investigation in the incident.

The AHRC has written a separate letter to the Rapporteur on the situation of human rights
defenders and the Rapporteur on Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or
punishment calling for an intervention in this case.

To support this appeal please click here:

SAMPLE LETTER:

Dear …………….,

INDIA: The government must investigate the case of torture of Mr. Ramananda
Taorem

Name of the victim: Mr. Ramananda Taorem, human rights lawyer, Manipur
Name of the alleged perpetrators: Officers associated with Imphal West Police Commando
Unit, Manipur
Date of incident: September 14, 2009

I am writing to express my concern regarding the case of torture of Mr. Ramananda Taorem,
a human rights lawyer working in Manipur. I am informed that he was arrested by officers
from the Imphal West Police Commando Unit on 14 September, 2009.

I am concerned to know that after arrest the police tortured Ramananda in custody, and later
accused him of having committed crimes registered under the Unlawful Activities
(Prevention) Act, 1967; Official Secrets Act, 1923; the National Security Act, 1980 and under
Sections 121 and121-A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. I am also aware that the victim was
produced before the Chief Judicial Magistrate and remanded in custody. I am informed that
until his release from custody on 24 December Ramananda was denied proper medical
treatment.

From the injuries he suffered from torture and the illegal treatment meted out against him in
custody Ramananda is now is in a critical state. I have been informed that his physical as well
as mental health is deteriorating rapidly since then.

I am informed that soon after release the cases against Ramananda were withdrawn
unilaterally by the government, an action that raises serious suspicion regarding the reason
for his arrest. I call for your immediate intervention in the victim’s case and demand a full
investigation into the behaviour of the police.

I urge you to take necessary actions to ensure that:

1. The statement of Ramananda must be recorded by a magistrate immediately;


2. If the statement reveals a case of torture and ill treatment, an investigation must be ordered
into the case, which must be supervised by a Judicial Magistrate as allowed in the rules laid
down by the Supreme Court of India;
3. Ramananda must be provided immediate security;
4. The officers suspected in the case must be immediately suspended from active service;
5. The state government must provide immediate assistance to Ramananda so that he could
seek appropriate medical assistance.

Yours Sincerely,
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PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO:

1. Pratibha Patil Devi,


President, Office of the President, Rashtrapati Bhawan,
New Delhi, 110004
INDIA
Fax: +91 11 23017290
E-mail: pressecy@Sansad. nic.in

2. Mr. Okram Ibobi


Chief Minister & Home Minister of Manipur,
Chief Minister's secretariat Babupara,
Imphal 795001 Manipur
INDIA
Fax: + 91 385 2221817
Email: cmmani@man.nic.in

3. Chairperson, National Human Rights Commission of India


Faridkot House, Copernicus Marg
New Delhi-110001 INDIA
Fax: +91 11 23340016
E-mail: chairnhrc@nic.in

4. Dr. P. Chidambaram
Minister, Ministry of Home Affairs
Griha Mantralaya Room
No. 104, North Block Central Secretariat, New Delhi 110001
INDIA
Fax: +91 11 2301 5750, 2309 3750, 2309 2763
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Thank you.
Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission (ua@ahrchk.org)

Posted on 2010-02-25