Mangaluru: The members of the PUCL met the police commissioner S Murugan and submitted a memorandum in connection with the alleged custodial death of David D’Souza, at the commissioner’s office here on July 6.
Speaking to the police commissioner, former president of PUCL P B D’Sa said, “This is regarding the shocking death of David D’souza while in police custody of Mangalore Rural police station between 4.00 pm and 12.00 midnight of July 2. We have already submitted a compliant on July 3, seeking for an inquiry in this regard. As you are aware, David D’Souza the President of PUCL-DK was an active human rights defender raising several issues of human rights violations including against the police”.
“On 2nd July 2015, at around 4pm, David went to the Mangalore Rural police station along with Stany Fernandes, as Stany Fernandes had been called to discuss a family issue at around 4.00 pm, Stany Fernandes wife and son who had filed a compliant against him came to the police station. at around 7:30 pm, in the presence of police inspector Pramod, there was an altercation of words between David the complainant and her son (wife and son of Stany Fernandes). There was a hot exchange of words and Pramod called for Policemen and told them to take David to the adjoining room. Stany Fernandes who was made to sit in the inspector’s room could hear arguments between David, Inspector Pramod and the constables for 10 minutes. He heard the shouts of pain and anguish from David. Thereafter to his utter shock, 4 policemen carried David outside the room and took him to the car. At that point David appeared to be unconscious. Subsequently, David’s wife was informed of his death at Indiana Hospital. The sequence of events related above, given by Stany, clearly point to the fact that David died in the police custody of Kankanady Rural Police Station”.
A statement made by Stany Fernandes is enclosed here with. Thereafter we have submitted complaints dated July 3 to the police, asking for an enquiry of David’s death.
We are all deeply disturbed to read the statement in the newspaper that suggest that the police are twisting the said issue and dismissing the question of a probe into the custodial death.
We would like to draw your attention to the NHRC guidelines on the question of custodial death which mandates as follows: as per circular D.No 40/1/1999-2000 CD (NRR) dated 03/01/2001 enclosed
It would thus have been hoped that as per circular D.No 40/1/1999-2000 CD (NRR) dated 03/01/2001 (enclosed ) an enquiry by a judicial magistrate was initiated and the NHRC informed about this heinous incident. This is more so essential in the light of the fact that person who had died is a well known human rights activist. Who has time and again questioned several violations Committed by the police. It is absolutely necessary that this issue be dealt with seriously in order to ensure that justice is met and the officials responsible for this gruesome act are all brought to book.
Hence we demand the followings that the NHRC must be immediately informed about the custodial death of David D’Souza. An enquiry by a judicial magistrate must be ordered into the custodial death of David D’Souza in accordance with the NHRC guidelines. Protection must be provided to Stany Fernandes the eye witness for this incident as he is facing serious threats from the police. His safety is paramount and steps must be taken to ensure the same. An FIR must be registered against the police officials responsible for the death of David D’Souza and impartial investigation be conducted into the same.
After receiving the memorandum from P B D’Sa, Police commissioner assured of doing justice in David D’Souza’s death case.
Later addressing the mediapersons Police commissioner S Murugan said, “The family has filed a petition and we have done the investigation. There are different opinions behind David’s death. Investigation should be done. Judicial magistrates inquest is also done. We have followed the NHRC guidelines while conducting the post mortem and are waiting for the report. Once the report comes, if we find any involvement of the police in the death of David D’Souza we will take action against them. We have done the video recording of the post mortem.
When asked about David being taken by a private vehicle to a private hospital,Murugan said that the family members were informed. When asked about the MLC not being done, Murugan said that without MLC the post mortem will not be possible.
Murugan also said that we have taken statement from all the five children and wife of the deceased and they have requested for investigation. None of the family members or his wife has any allegations against the police. They have said that investigation should be done. We have taken up the complaint and will do the necessary. The family were not ready to file the complaint too but for the formalities they have filed a petition for investigating the case. If David has died due to police beatings we will take action and we will take up the case as murder. If the death is because of heart attack or any other reason the matter will be clarified and case will be closed. We have followed all the formalities and procedures according to the guidelines of NHRC, he added.
Suresh Bhat Bakrebail, Bertram Pinto and others were also present.