The National Human Rights Commission on Friday sent a notice to the Uttar Pradesh director general of police following reports that a 14-year-old girl in Noida was allegedly tortured while she was in police custody for eight days earlier this month. It asked the police chief to submit a report, explaining the steps taken for counselling and rehabilitation of the girl, within four weeks.
The girl alleged that the police beat her up, burnt her with cigarettes and gave her electric shocks. The rights panel said that if the allegations are true, it “indicate cruelty of the police personnel for which they deserve exemplary punishment so that a message could be given that such inhuman acts by a public servant cannot be accepted at any cost”. The commission added that police personnel were not to “humiliate and harm innocent citizens”.
The police detained the girl, who worked as a domestic help, reportedly after her employer accused her of theft.
On Thursday, the National Legal Services Authority sought a report from Noida’s Senior Superintendent of Police Ajay Pal Sharma on the allegations. The police have denied the allegations, and claimed that she was not a minor.
But the Noida district hospital confirmed five injuries on her body, and said she was below 18 years of age. It mentioned “alleged cigarette burn and electric spark”, and found two “brown circular discolorations” near the girl’s left and right wrists, possibly due to burns. The report also listed abrasions on the girl’s right forearm and three discoloured abrasions on both wrists. The injuries were found to be more than 10 days old and were likely caused by a hard and blunt object, the May 26 report said.
The girl’s family claimed that the police detained her at the Salarpur police station on May 14 and kept her there for two days without informing them about it. The police did not allow them to meet her when they went to the station either, they alleged. She was released on May 16 but detained again the next day along with her 17-year-old brother.
They were released on May 22 after the intervention of the non-profit Bachpan Bachao Andolan and the Child Welfare Commission. The Child Welfare Commission ordered a medical examination the next day.