Bhubaneswar, Jan 8:
The NHRC Wednesday issued notice to the director general of the Railway Protection Force (RPF) after it was alleged that two boys were detained and tortured by RPF personnel in Odisha for seven days.
Acting on three different complaints lodged by Odisha-based rights activists Chandranath Dani, Subash Mohapatra and Akhand, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) directed the RPF director general in New Delhi to file a report within four weeks, a petitioner told IANS.
Bikash, 14, and Loknath, 12, were Tuesday rescued from the RPF police station at Cuttack, 26 km from here, by child protection officials.
The alleged confinement and torture came to light after some media persons reached the RPF police station following information provided by the boys’ families. The media persons later informed the administration.
Both the boys, residents of a city slum, told officials that they were kept in the RPF lockup since Dec 31. They alleged that RPF personnel tortured them physically and mentally.
District child protection officer Pragati Mohanty said injury marks were found on them.
As per law, no one can be arrested without a complaint and an arrested person must be presented before a court within 24 hours of his or her being taken into custody.
RPF officials said they detained the boys for stealing mobile phones and other items from trains, but they failed to show any complaint lodged against the boys, Mohanty said.
They did not even hand over the boys to Government Railway Police for any investigation, she said.
Railway authorities here Wednesday ordered a probe into the incident.
“I have ordered an inquiry by the senior divisional security commissioner and take appropriate action against the RPF personnel if found guilty,” Chief Security Commissioner of East Coast Railway S.K. Mishra told IANS.
The officials were told to submit an action taken report by Jan 14, he said.
“The boys were rescued and sent back to their homes. Further investigation is on,” Cuttack District Collector S.N. Girish said.