NCHRO finds faults with recent searches by NIA: Illegal, Arbitrary and Politically Motivated.
September 5, 2018
The Tamil Nadu chapter of National Confederation of Human Rights Organisations (NCHRO) on Wednesday accused the National Investigation Agency (NIA) of implicating K.K. Pudur resident Shajahan and his son Mohammed Rafikul Hassan in the murder of Hindu Munnani spokesperson C. Sasikumar. Addressing media persons, A. Raja, state secretary of the chapter, accused the agency of extending the investigation to the two persons, after filing the charge sheet against four other accused in the special court for NIA cases at Poonamalle. People belonging to minority community have started to feel alienated after the National Investigation Agency conducted a search operation at KK Pudur here last week.
Mr. Raja alleged that the NIA team conducted searches at two locations on August 30 after disconnecting the digital video recorders from the surveillance cameras there. “Around 15 signed blank cheque leaves that were found in Shajahan’s house were taken away by the agency. The agency also planted weapons in the office of the mill currently managed by Shajahan’s brother-in-law Samiyullah,” he said.
A fact-finding mission of NCHRO observed brutal and barbaric policing practices prevail and need strong public condemnation. Thus, it is high time to re-enact our existing antiquated police laws to ensure better accountability, efficiency and society friendly approach. Unilateral operations that discriminate and alienate youth from communities will not work. The NIA must abide by the human right regulations to ensure human dignity and there must be no political intervention in investigation.
NIA resort to excessive use of force, mistreat persons in detention, target minorities and otherwise engage in misconduct. This undermines public trust in the effective law enforcement. The human rights activists said the hard line strategy of using extra-legal and unorthodox means of NIA is not only counterproductive but also unconstitutional and illegal. Torture has remained an illicit tool employed by law enforcement agencies in order to unconstitutionally punish or extract information and confessions from the accused persons. NIA currently have the means and legal methods to acquire the evidence necessary for successful prosecutions. Indeed, the unreliability of forced confessions was one of the principal reasons that courts originally prohibited their use.
Despite the world’s largest democracy, It is a paradox that the citizens do not trust one of the most important investigation agency of its government – the NIA. The agency had allegedly acted on the behest of its ‘political masters’ and working to free Hindutva terror case culprits. The Rohini Salian’s revealing, Ajmer blast case, Mecca Masjid case, Samjauhta Express case, Brutal Murder of Hemant Karkare, The covering of Sanathan Sanstha Terror, all shows the absolutely illegal and arbitrary actions of the agency.
We should establish effective independent complaints mechanisms where members of public can report misconduct and torture offences against law enforcement agencies in accordance with our Constitution. It is a fundamental duty of State to combat impunity for human rights violations committed by law enforcement officials so that victims receive justice, future misconduct by law enforcement officials is deterred and public trust in and co-operation with law enforcement can be strengthened.
Investigations of human rights violations committed by law enforcement officials should be effective, for that a national ombudsmen or independent complaints mechanisms to investigate complaints about NIA should set up. This is an essential requirement for restoring the public’s trust in state authority and safeguarding human rights and the rule of law. Relevant authorities to ensure that the law enforcement agencies and other persons who commit torture-related offences in our country are timely prosecuted for all their offences without fear or favour. The government should also take legislative and other relevant measures to provide all law enforcement officers with training on human rights protection.