Fact Finding: Death of Shameel Basha

Fact Finding Investigation into the Death of Shameel Basha due to Illegal detention and Torture by Pallikonda Police station Officials, Vellore District on 26th June 2015.

Fact finding Investigation conducted on 1st July 2015.

Sameel Basha (age 26) S/o Shajahaan, was kept in illegal detention and tortured by Pallikonda Police station policemen from 15th to 18th June 2015. He was treated for injuries in Ambur Govt. Hospital and Vellore Govt. Hospital, for the injuries he sustained due to police torture. He died in Rajiv Gandhi Govt. General Hospital, Chennai on 26th June 2015 due to Polytrauma and Brachial plexus.

Campaign for Custodial Justice and Abolition of Torture (CCJAT) came to know about this incident through print and electronic media. The fact finding team consisting of K.A. Mathews, State Committee Member, Campaign for Custodial Justice and Abolition of Torture (CCJAT), N. Lalitha, Advocate, Sister Sudha, Women’s Rights Activist, S. Vijayashankar, Advocate, R. Roshan Sunthar, B. Saraswathi and P. Raj Kapil, Human Rights Defenders was constituted and on 1st July 2015 they met the victim’s family, visited hospitals, police stations and various other officials and gathered information regarding the issue.

List of persons interviewed by the Fact finding team:

  • K. Mohammed Ghouse, Shameel Basha’s Father-in-law
  • Noor-i-Chesmi, W/o Shameel Basha
  • Jareena Banu, Shameel’s mother-in-law
  • Khaleel Bai, Shameel’s mother’s brother
  • Kennedy, Chief Medical Officer, Ambur Govt. Hospital
  • Surya Prakash, Eldest brother of Palani
  • Palani, Pavithra’s husband
  • Palani’s mother, Pavithra’s mother-in-law
  • J. Mandal, Thippa Samudram Village Panchayat President
  • Singaram, Sub-Inspector of Pallikonda Police Station

 Facts and Sequences:

  • Pavithra (age 24) W/o Palani from Kuchipallayam village and Shameel Basha(age 26) S/o Shahjahan from Ambur had been working in Faridha (Delta II) leather company, Ambur. They both were terminated from the company for unknown reasons.
  • Pavithra W/o Palani went missing from her house in Kuchipallayam village, Anaikattu union, Vellore district since 24th May 2015 evening 4 O’clock. Pavithra’s husband Palani filed a complaint in Pallikonda Police Station on 26th May 2015. In his complaint, Palani stated that Pugzhalendhi, Amudha (w/o Pugzhalanthi), Saravanan and Senthil kidnapped his wife with 7 sovereign of gold and cash of Rs.3,60,000/-.
  • On 26th May 2015, Pallikonda Police filed an FIR in Cr.No.140/15 wherein they mentioned Pugzhalandhi, Saravanan and Senthil as suspects.
  • FIR was registered by G. Ravi, Sub-inspector of Police, Pallikonda Police Station, under Cr.No.140/15 dt. 26.05.2015
  • On 27th May 2015, Pavithra’s mother received a call from Shameel Basha stating that Pavithra came to Erode and approached him to find a new job and he sent her back in Kovai express train.
  • Accidently Shameel Basha along with his family came to Ambur to visit his ailing mother-in-law’s mother who is 95 years old. Shameel Basha stayed in his father-in-law’s house in Ambur.
  • On 15th June, 2015, Pavithra’s relatives and some others from Kuchipalayam village went to Shamel Basha’s uncle Khaleel’s house looking for him.
  • Khaleel brought Shameel Basha from Shameel’s Father in law’s house. When Shameel came, Pavithra’s relatives started to fight asking Shameel to hand over Pavithra to them. Shameel told them that he sent back Pavithra by train.
  • To avoid communal clash Shameel’s uncle Khaleel handed over Shameel to Ambur Town Police Station. Since Pavithra missing case has been registered in Pallikonda Police Station earlier, Ambur Police asked them to go to Pallikonda Police Station.

Findings:

  • Pavithra and Shameel Basha were well known to each other since they worked in the same company (Faridha Leather company).
  • Pavithra was forced to quit her job by her husband and relatives 6 months before since her husband suspected her fidelity.
  • Shameel Basha also left his job in Faridha Leather Company and shifted to Erode and started working there in Kalyan Jewelers as a salesman.
  • Pavithra went missing from her house in Kuchipallayam village on 24th May 2015 around 4 pm.
  • Pavithra’s husband Palani filed a complaint in Pallikonda Police station on 26th May 2015 stating that his wife is missing and she might be kidnapped by Pugzhalandhi, his wife Amudha, Saravanan and Senthil.
  • Eventhough Pavithra’s husband Palani stated in his complaint that his wife was kidnapped by Pugzhalandhi, his wife Amudha, Saravanan and Senthil, Police have registered a mere woman missing case without mentioning the suspects as stated by palani.
  • Eventhough FIR was registered on 26th May 2015; Pallikonda police didn’t take any necessary action to find out Pavithra. So Pavithra’s husband filed a Habeus corpus writ petition in High Court of Madras.
  • Pavithra’s family members found out Shameel Basha’s address using the cell phone number which Shameel Basha used to call Pavithra’s mother.

Recommendations:

  • Inspector Martin Premraj and his associates must be arrested immediately for illegal detention, torturing and causing death of Shameel Basha.
  • Murder case must be filed against the Inspector Martin Premraj who is now under suspension.
  • The government must order immediately to fix CCTV cameras in all the rooms in all the police stations.
  • All Police involved in the illegal detention, torture and causing death of Shameel Basha including Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) and Superintendent of Police (SP) Vellore district should be punished for not issuing custody memo to the family and friends of Shameel Basha as required in D.K. Basu Vs State of West Bengal case.
  • An Interim compensation of Rs. 10 lakhs must be given to the victim’s family immediately.