Undertrials Assault Case – The superintendent transferred, 4 jail guards suspended

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Goa government took swift action and suspended 4 jail guards while transferring the jail superintendent in the case of under trial brutal assault by the jail authorities. It was a thought provoking, an inhuman act was done by the jail authorities and it may be the first such incident to take place in Goa which resulted in the formation of ripples in the media. The suspended four jail guard includes Laximan Padloskar, Keshav Gawas, Rakesh Bhanaskar and Vilas Naik. The prison authorities have warned of serious actions against those found guilty in this unlawful activity. The sources also revealed that apart from the prison authorities the Goa Human Rights Association has also intervened into the matter and sought action against the culprits.

The incident came into the light when the undertrials, who were recently shifted to Colvale jail from Mapusa and Sada sub jail respectively, had brought in the NDPS court Mapusa for taking further remand. They detailed the story of their agony in front of the presiding judge Desmond D’costa who took the cognizance of the matter and ordered the inquiry into this incident.

Immediately after receiving the news the Inspector General of Prisons, Elvis Gomes swung into action and transferred the jail superintendent Melvin Vaz and suspending the 4 jail guards for this inhuman act. The IGP also claimed that he has submitted the preliminary reports to the chief minister and chief secretary for taking further action in this matter.  He did not rule out the more suspensions in this case.

The IGP has confirmed that the traumatized prisoners have been sent back to their earlier lockups at Mapusa and Sada sub jail respectively while the injured were sent for the medical treatments. The prisoners do not want to go back to the Colvale jail out of the fear of getting trashed by the jail authorities. “The preliminary inquiry has revealed that the prisoners who were transferred from Sada jail have been beaten up by the jail guards”, said Gomes. According him, the prisoners were trashed by the jail guards for no reason. Gomes did not buy the justification given by the superintendent that the prisoners were refusing to enter the cell. Gomes has also confirmed the scale of brutality was so high that some prisoners are still in a stage of a shock and may need counseling in future. The damages include one of the prisoners losing his one eye while other with broken bones.

According to the sources, the respective embassies of Nigeria, Portugal, Germany, and Israel have also taken the serious cognizance of this issue and they will be meeting the government authorities in this matter. According to the lawyer of the under trials, the jail authorities did not even allow his entry into the jail for which he finally had sought the permission of the court. “I was very much concerned about the well-being of my clients and sought the permission of the court to gain the entry into the Colvale jail who denied me the entry on earlier occasion”, said the lawyer Raju Povlekar, “after the NDPS court granted me the permission on Tuesday, I visited my clients in the Colvale jail and they informed me that around 50 undertrials were beaten brutally by the jail authorities on Saturday after they shifted at this new ‘correction home’,” He added. Povlekar also informed that his clients have already filed the written complaints before the Mapusa police about the brutality done by the jail authorities to them. According to one of the under trial, an Israeli national, before assaulting them, the jail authorities threw their prayer material on the ground which caused in hurting their religious sentiments.

The sources have also informed that the jail superintendent was present when the assault took place and he did not do anything to stop the same. The undertrials were having their trial in the court on Monday but were not brought to the court by the prison authorities fearing the truth will get exposed in front of everybody, but the move of Advocate Povlekar has helped to bring the truth out. “I have moved the application in front of the NDPS court seeking the medical examination of the victims,” Povlekar said. The Human rights commissions have also recorded the statements of the victims and have claimed that they will be meeting more jail inmates to find out whether such more incidents had taken place in the past.

This case of brutality had never seen in Goa earlier but may be now the times are changing and jail authorities feel the need of third degree on the under trials, which is not in the parameters of the law, as the third degree is allowed to use before the filing of the charge sheet and prior to the starting of trial, for the sake of revealing the truth from the accused. But once the truth has been established the law takes its own course for punishing the accused. This case will go a long way and it will become the source of more such inhuman acts going on in the jail under the nose of the government authorities, which may be unattended till now. Let’s wait and watch where this matter leads to. We will keep updating our readers about the new developments time to time.

Source: Various Sources

Edited by Goa Prism News Desk  

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