Statement by Coalition for Protection of Human Rights Defenders

576 (Basement), Masjid Road, JANGPURA, New Delhi-110014

The Coalition for Protection of Human Rights’ Defenders (CPHRD) strongly condemns the police firing on Umakant Biswal, a young anti-POSCO movement activist and farmer from Dhinkia village district of Jagatsinghpur district, Odisha.

According to the information received by us from activist friends in Dhinkia, on 2nd of March 2012, while Mr. Bisawal was working on his farm near the village, the Police came on motor cycle in civil dress to arrest him, after recognizing them he tried to run away but was shot in leg and subsequently arrested. We are also told that, Mr. Biswal has been tortured in custody.

We are shocked to know about the attack, arrest and custodial torture of Mr. Biswal. It is a serious case of violation of the Supreme Court guidelines to be followed at the time of arrest, defined in the case of D K Basu vs. State of West Bengal. We demand immediate suspension of police officials involved the firing case and also immediate release of Mr. Biswal.

In solidarity,
Mahtab Alam, Manisha Sethi, Harsh Dobhal and Kavita Srivastava
On Behalf of working committee of CPHRD

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