NHRC issues notice to Kerala on maid’s torture

New Delhi, March 5 (IANS) The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Friday issued a show cause notice to Kerala chief secretary in a 2014 case of torture of a house maid by police, asking why an interim relief of Rs.3 lakh wasn’t recommended to be paid to the victim.

The state government has been given six weeks to respond.

In September 2014, the maid named Leeba Ratheesh was tortured by police in Cheranallur Police Station in the state’s Ernakulam

“The conduct of the erring police officials seems to have transgressed all the limits on its power and the same amounts to a gross violation of the human rights of the victim,” said an statement from the NHRC.

As per NHRC findings, Ratheesh was taken to the police station on a complaint of missing gold from the house of her employer, kept in detention for 38 hours and tortured.

“She was also denied food and drinking water during the custody. After she was released on bail, her friends took her to the district hospital, Ernakulam. On medical examination, it was found that she had suffered serious spinal injuries due to police torture,” NHRC stated.

Justice D. Murugesan, member of the commission, on the basis of the material on record, has observed that the extent of police torture meted out to the victim is clearly established.

NHRC later received a report confirming that Leeba was tortured by six police personnel – a sub-inspector, an assistant sub-inspector and four woman police constables. They were suspended from the service and a criminal case was registered against them.

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