Monday, 22 October 2007

Hyderabad police torture Muslim youths after bomb blasts

By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, Oct 22: The city police seems to have meticulously tortured some of the 21 youths they had detained illegally at a farm house in the city outskirts, if the physical examination reports by doctors is any indication.
There are clear marks of injury but they are so small and partially healed that it makes difficult for examining doctors to exactly pinpoint the cause. There are signs of electrocution with very small voltage electricity and not big enough to prove that they are electrical burns or Joule burn in medical parlance. This shows that the police had carried out the "interrogation" in such a way so as not to leave major tell tale marks on the bodies. Soft tissues and tendons were targeted since it becomes difficult for doctors to find out the injuries after a gap of three weeks.
Since the youths were detained for days together, the injuries they bore had either healed or were in stage of partial healing by the time they were produced in court for remand. Though the police started picking up youths soon after the twin bomb blast on August 25, the arrests were shown only a few days later.
The detained youths had access to medical facility for the first time on September 8 at Cherlapally jail dispensary. They were referred to Osmania General Hospital on September 18 for further medical treatment following a directive by AP High Court.
Dr T Mahender Reddy, professor of forensic medicine in Kamineni Medical College, who accompanied the State Minorities Commission's inquiry team, noted that "soft tissue (muscle and tendons) injuries cannot be made out after three weeks. Pain and tenderness are the manifestations of soft tissue injuries which cannot be determined or calibrated on simple external examination".
He pointed out in his report to the commission that in three undertrials partially healing and healed abrasions were present on the forearms, wrists and in front of the legs. In two undertrials small scars of less than one centimetre were seen on external ears. In another three undertrials pin-point partially healing abrasions ranging from one millimetre to two millimetre in diameter were noted around nipples.
In one undertrial prisoner multiple circular discoloration was noted on the inner aspect of right thigh each measuring approximately one cm in diameter.
"From the above noted injuries inference is drawn that partially healing and healed injuries are of age group ranging from one to three weeks old," he said.
The youths were remanded to judicial custody and sent to Cherlapally jail after the police officially showed the arrests on September 8. Before being produced in court, the youths were lodged at a farm house where they were subjected to "interrogation" for days together. The police booked cases relating to waging war against the State or obtaining passports by producing fake documents. Interestingly, though all the youths were arrested in connection with the bomb blasts, none of them was shown arrested on this charge.
The medical report further pointed out that small pin-point abrasions noted around nipples were possible by electrocution with very small voltage electricity. Other possibility of pin-point abrasions can be due to pricking by sharp needle like objects.
"Classical electrical burns (Joule burn) were not made out on any person. None of them had an injury anywhere on the private parts at the time of examination," Dr Mahender Reddy said.
The medical records maintained at Cherlapalli central prison dispensary point out that one of the youths Muhammad Abdul Karim Anwar, 24, had two abrasions on right hand, two abrasions on front of right forearm, abrasions on left knee and painful movements of left shoulder.
He was taken to the dispensary for the second time on September 12 and later on September 18 he was referred to Osmania General Hospital for further treatment and management.
Another youth, Ibrahim Ali Junaid, 25, had abrasions on front of lower leg, swelling of left foot and punctate marks on lower right arm and lower left back.
Abdul Wasim, 25, reported abrasion of left forearm, abrasion of right forearm and swelling of left forearm.

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