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ACHR Press Release
ACHR Index: PR/IND/01/04/05
26 April 2005

NHRC approached against tattooing of prisoners in Punjab

New Delhi: Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) today approached the National Human Rights Commission for intervention against inhuman torture and degrading treatment to undertrial Mohanlal at Jallandhar jail in Punjab by tattooing – Neevi Jaat (lower caste) on his back allegedly by the jail officials on 24 April 2005.

ACHR stated that torture and tattooing have become systematic in Punjab. Earlier, NHRC had to intervene when women prisoners were tattooed “jeb khatris” (women pickpockets) on their forehead. On the night of 30 June 2004, jail officials of Amritsar Central jail tattooed “Yeh Chor Hai” (this one is a thief) on the back of Rocky, an undertrial by using a hot iron rod. Malkiat Singh, a Dalit undertrial accused in a case of attempt to murder, was allegedly brutally beaten up and inscribed ‘choorraa’’ (lower caste) on his back with the help of some surgical instrument at Jalandar Central Jail on the night of 2 July 2004.

“NHRC must take exemplary actions to ensure that such Middle Age savageries are not repeated” – stated Suhas Chakma, Director of Asian Centre for Human Rights.

ACHR requested NHRC to send its investigation team to inquire into the incident and initiate appropriate legal action for prosecution of the guilty officials who had tattooed “Neevi Jaat” on the back of undertrial Mohanlal, direct the State government of Punjab to provide for best medical treatment either in All India Institute of Medical Sciences or Appollo Hospital in New Delhi for plastic surgery for removal of the tattoo Neevi Jaat and that the expenses for the cost of the surgery be recovered from the guilty jail personnel; to suspend all the concerned employees of Jallandhar Jail responsible for the tattooing of undertrial Mohanlal to ensure that they do not interfere with the investigation processes and award compensation to the victim.

For any further information or comments, please contact Suhas Chakma, Director of Asian Centre for Human Rights at above numbers or at +981089344


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