ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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Condemning Police Brutality

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[Press release dated 3 August 2019]

Bailancho Saad strongly condemns the police brutality, arrest on false charges, and other human rights violations committed on a rape survivor and complainant, when she went to Mapusa police station to enquire about the summons she had received from them.

She was verbally abused with sexually-coloured language, told to get out, kicked brutally, her mobile grabbed accusing her of recording the police officers, her belongings taken away. She was placed in the police lock-up, not allowed to call a lawyer, not allowed to call her daughter to get her sanitary pads as she had her period, and not allowed access to her asthma medication, leading to a life-threatening situation. She was given her asthma medication only after she removed her clothes in protest.  When she was still not allowed to call her daughter, she removed her clothes in protest again, after which the police called her teenage daughter. The toilet was filthy and her request for footwear to enter was denied; she could use the toilet only the next afternoon when she was placed in judicial lock-up. She has asthma, diabetes and serious medical issues, and her health deteriorated due to denial of medicines to her on time. She was slapped and subjected to brutality even outside the hospital before her medical examination because she had stated that she did not want to undergo it.

Even when she told the judge that she was not allowed to call her lawyer, she was told she cannot call a lawyer when in lock-up. In fact, every accused has a right to call a lawyer. Her teenage daughter had to call friends and sell her mobile phone to arrange for the money for surety. No legal aid was provided to the rape survivor and she remained in judicial custody for another three nights.  

The survivor states that the horrific human rights violations have been done because she complained against the police and officials in the judiciary to higher authorities with regard to their handling of the Section 376 case filed by her. She is under pressure to withdraw the case. She is determined to fight and has made representation to various authorities. A complaint has been inwarded at the office of the director general of police (DGP). We were not allowed to meet the DGP but directed to meet the deputy inspector general, who in turn asked for the complaint to be put in writing again.

Bailancho Saad demands that a first information report (FIR) be registered, this matter investigated, and action taken against the erring police officers. The government should make the almost ­defunct statutory bodies like the State Human Rights Commission, State Commission for Women, etc, functional by appointing chairpersons and members on time, and providing infrastructure, personnel, and sufficient budgets.

The Police Protocol for Women and Children which was collectively prepared by the police and non-governmental organisations should be implemented and updated to include protocols regarding summons in various situations, victim protection, etc. The issues raised at the meeting called by the superintendent of police (crime) on 26 July 2019 relating to FIRs, summons, police response, procedures, sensitising and training of police, etc, should be addressed at the earliest.

Bailancho Saad appeals to citizens and organisations to join their voices against human rights violations and extend support to the survivor of violence.  The justice systems are collapsing and we need to safeguard them. We cannot allow Goa to treat complainants in the same way as in the Unnao case.

Sabina Martins  

For Bailancho Saad,

Bardez, Goa

Updated On : 9th Aug, 2019

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