The state home department has transferred the superintendent and the jailor of the Dum Dum Central Correctional Home following allegations of torture of Bikram Mahato, a 35-year-old undertrial in the jail. HT had reported the details of the torture (along with photographs) on February 18.
“The order was issued on Friday. Debashis Mukherjee, jail super, has been transferred to Lalgola, in Murshidabad, and VK Singh, the jailor, to the Jalpaiguri jail,” a state home department officer said.
“We hope that VK Singh won’t torture any other inmate in future as he did my brother,” Bikram’s sister, Rupa, said. Senior officers of the department, however, claimed ignorance. “I don’t know about it,” Ranvir Kumar, I-G (Prisons), said.
An accused in a murder case, Bikram Mahato is now in judicial custody and has been lodged in the Dum Dum jail for almost a year. His sister said when she went to the jail on February 14, the authorities said her brother was ill. Later, she learnt that Bikram had been tortured badly.
“The beatings continued for all of two days, during which time he was kept naked and handcuffed in a cell. The torture was on the instructions of VK Singh, who even threatened to kill him,” Rupa had earlier told HT.
Earlier, in September 2012, it was alleged that Mahato was forced to drink a bleaching powder solution in the jail after he complained about the quality of food served to him behind bars. This time, too, he protested against the quality of food, which invited torture by the jail authorities.
On February 19, after HT reported the news, the state human rights commission took suo motu cognisance and asked the I-G, Prisons, to inquire into the incident and submit a report in two weeks.
Shankar Chakraborty, minister for jails, also ordered an inquiry into the matter.