Prosecute culprits for custodial death of Amritsar man: rights group

By News Desk,

New Delhi: The Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) today has welcomed the order of the National Human Rights Commission on 21 August to award compensation of Rs five lakh to the family of Mohan Lal, a rickshaw puller in Amritsar, Punjab, and demanded prosecution of culprits in the case.
Mohan Lal was picked up by the Jammu & Kashmir Police for interrogation in connection with some incidents of burglaries in the State and was tortured to death on 2 July 2003 in Jammu.

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The NHRC in its probe found that during the first post-mortem, 16 external injuries were observed and the cause of death of Mohan Lal was stated to be septicemia. A magisterial enquiry conducted by Tehsildar, Settlement concluded that Mohan Lal had died due to blood infection and there was no foul play in his death.
However, a fresh post-mortem conducted by a medical board at Medical College, Amritsar revealed 41 injuries including incised wounds, blisters and also 6 marks of injuries caused by passing electric current. The blisters and electric current marks which were observed in the second post-mortem were not mentioned in the first post-mortem report.

The NHRC took up the matter after a complaint was filed by Asian Centre for Human Rights on 9 July 2003 into the torture to death of Mr Mohan Lal.

“The order of the NHRC is a step in the right direction. However, the NHRC must take further necessary actions to prosecute the culprits including those who fudged the first post mortem in Jammu, to address the menace of torture in India,” said Mr Suhas Chakma, Director of Asian Centre for Human Rights.
ACHR has urged the NHRC to direct the State government of Punjab to inform about the investigation of FIR No.228/2003 registered with Sadar Police Station, Amritsar pertaining to the death of Mohan Lal and follow up the prosecution of the culprits including those who fudged the first post-mortem report in Jammu.