Fact Finding: Syed Mohammed’s Custodial Torture and Death
Syed Mohammed’s Custodial Torture and Death

Fact Finding: Syed Mohammed’s Custodial Torture and Death

Background of the case:

On 14/10/2014, Syed Mohammed (aged 22) S/o Alla pichai alias Kaattu Bawa was taken to SP Pattinam Police Station for attempt to murder mechanic Aruldass around 2.30 p.m. By 5 p.m. people living near police station heard three gun shots from the police station. Later the police came up with a statement that Sub Inspector of Police A. syedKalidoss was stabbed by Syed Mohammed while interrogating him in the Police Station and the Sub Inspector of Police fired three gun shots at Syed Mohammed using his service revolver in an act of self-defense wherein Syed Mohammed died. A fact finding team was constituted by Campaign for Custodial Justice and Abolition of Torture and they conducted the fact finding investigation on 17/10/2014 and 18/10/2014.

Facts and sequence:

  1. On 14.10.2014, around 2.30 p.m. victim Syed Mohammed and bike mechanic Aruldass had a small scuffle wherein Syed Mohammed used a knife to threaten Aruldass. Mechanic Aruldass confiscated the knife used in the altercation by Syed Mohammed and verbally complained in SP Pattinam Police. Around 3 PM when Syed Mohammed came to the mechanic shop again, three policemen including Constable Durai Khannan came from police station and took Syed Mohammed to the police station. By 4 p.m. people heard Syed Mohammed scream out of pain due to tortured and it continued till 5 p.m. Around 5PM the screaming went silent and three gun shots were heard from police station. After the gun shots nobody was allowed into the police station compound.A local medical shop owner Ramesh was asked to come to the police station immediately and he was the only person allowed into the police station. SI Kalidoss showed some cut marks in his hands and asked Ramesh dress it which Ramesh refused to do so. While talking to the Inspector Ramesh saw Syed Mohammed lying down inside Sub Inspector’s room. There was no blood stain on Syed Mohammed’s body or anywhere inside the Sub Inspector’s room. In fact the white dhoti which Syed Mohammed was wearing didn’t have any single drop of blood on it.
  1. Around 5.30 p.m. ambulance was called in and Syed Mohammed’s body was loaded into the ambulance. DSP Sekar instructed the ambulance driver Azad not to stop the vehicle anywhere before reaching Ramnathapuram Government Hospital Azad’s cellphone was also confiscated by the Police who accompanied him in the ambulance. On the way to Ramnad the ambulance was stopped at Thiruppalaikudi Police Station, wherein the Superintendent of Police and Inspector General of Police inspected the dead body of Syed Mohammed and also took some photographs of it. From there Syed Mohammed’s body to Ramanathapuram Government Hospital.

Conclusion:

By statements of several witnesses regarding this case we conclude that Syed Mohammed was brutally tortured during interrogation and beaten to death and then was shot thrice to cover up their custodial torture and hence staged a drama saying Syed Mohammed tried to attack SI Kalidass and in self-defense SI Kalidass shot Syed Mohammed from which he died. We conclude that Syed Mohammed was murdered by brutal torture by SI Kalidass and other constables in SP Pattinam Police Station. 

Recommendations:

  • The suspended SP Pattinam police station sub Inspector A,Kalidoss must be arrested immediately and tried for murder U/Sec 302 of IPC.
  • The other six policemen who were transferred from SP Pattinam police station to AR after the shootout must also be arrested immediately and tried under murder charges.
  • DSP Sekar who came to the police station immediately after the brutal torture helped SI Kalidoss to fabricate the custodial torture and death of Syed Mohammed and make it out to be a case of “encounter” death must also be arrested and tried for conspiracy by abetment to the murder of Syed Mohammed.
  • The government must order immediately to fix CCTV cameras in all the rooms in all the police stations.
  • All Police involved including the SP and DGI Ramanathapuram should be punished for not issuing custody memo to family and friends as required in D.K.Basu vs State of West Bengal case
  • Compensation of Rs 5 lakhs given to victim’s family must be increased and another 10 lakhs must be given to the victim’s family as interim compensation.
  • One of the family members must be given government employment to compensate for loss of life and livelihood of the family.