NHRC issues notice to CBI in the reported death of a journalist in its custody in Chhattisgarh

The National Human Rights Commission has taken suo motu cognizance of a media report that a journalist, Shiv Shankar Vaishnav, has died after his attempted suicide in the custody of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Reportedly, after the incident, the CBI officials rushed him first to the district hospital and from there to the Ambedkar Hospital, Raipur, where he was kept on life support system for four days before being declared dead on Monday, the 3rd October, 2016. The family of the victim has alleged that he was tortured to death.

According to the media reports, carried today on the 4th October, 2016, Shiv Shankar Vaishnav and his son were arrested by the CBI on the 25th September, 2016 in the case of murder of a journalist, Umesh Rajput in Gariyaband District of Chhattisgarh in the year 2011.

Issuing a notice to the Director, CBI, returnable within two weeks, the Commission has observed that CBI is the most trusted and prime investigating agency of the country. Death of a person in their custody indicates towards negligence on the part of the officials/officers dealing with the matter. It becomes the prime duty of the agency to protect the Right to Life of a person, who is being detained by them in their custody for the purpose of interrogation. The act of negligence apparent in the matter is a complete transgression of human rights of the deceased. A citizen, even in police custody is entitled to his fundamental rights ensured under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.

According to the media reports, both Shiv Shankar Vaishnav and his son were taken on remand by the CBI and kept in the ‘Transit Mess’ at Raipur in Chhattisgarh. Shiv Shankar was interrogated by a Deputy SP in a room and after sometime, he went to the bathroom and hanged himself on the shower stand. The CBI officers rushed him first to the district hospital and then to the Ambedkar Hospital.

National Human Rights Commission

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