Mumbai: The National Human Rights Commission on Monday issued a notice to Maharashtra’s Director General of Police pertaining to the arrest of Republic Media Network’s Assistant Vice President Ghanshyam Singh.
Arrested by Mumbai Police’s Crime Branch in the alleged TRP scam probe on November 10, he was finally released from the Taloja Central Jail on December 6 after getting bail from a Mumbai court.
Acting on the complaint of Republic Media Network’s Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami, the NHRC asked the DGP to constitute an inquiry to probe the allegations of false implication and custodial torture of Singh.
Most importantly, the commission held that “there are allegations of physical torture, false implication and mental harassment of the office bearer of an eminent Media House, which cannot be acceptable in a democratic country like India”
Detailing the torture inflicted on the Republic Media Network’s Vice President, the notice read, “The complainant Shri Arnab Goswami, a renowned journalist as well as Editor-in-chief and Managing Director of Republic Media Network, ARG Outlier Media Private Limited has alleged false implication, arbitrary arrest, physical assault in police custody and mental torture of Shri Ghanshyam Singh, Assistant Vice-President of Distribution of the Republic Media Network. It has been stated that Shri Ghanshyam Singh was arbitrarily picked up on 10th November, 2020 from his home in relation to FIR No. 143 of 2020 registered at the DCB, CID, Crime Branch Mumbai (TRP case), although, the FIR neither named him, his affiliation nor his organization. On the second day of his custody, he was subjected to extreme mental cruelty when he refused to comply with the premeditated script of the police.
He was taken into a room laden with a tool to torture, where he was brutally and barbarically whipped with a chakki belt, forced to extend his hands, and then lashed by a thick injury-inflicting chakki belt multiple times on both the hands. Even the victim cried and writhed in pain while the police officer was lashing him, they did not stop and kept the agony and continued the assault in presence of other police officials. As per the allegations, a senior police officer was instructing for the physical torture and they were trying to coerce the victim to make false statements to incriminate himself and his organization. Ghanshyam Singh was also paraded like a terrorist with his face covered in a black cloth while taken to court. It has been further alleged that as part of a witch-hunt against the Republic Media Network and in an attempt to fix investigations in a prejudged manner, all semblance of due process has been shunned and devious means of torture are being used.
The complainant has requested an urgent intervention of the Commission in this matter, justice to the victim for violation of his human rights by police and to protect the news agencies whose members have been physically tortured in the custody by the State officials.”
Issuing directions to the DGP, the notice added, “The Commission notices that there are allegations of physical torture, false implication and mental harassment of the office bearer of an eminent Media House, which cannot be acceptable in a democratic country like India. Let a Notice be issued to the Director General of Police, Maharashtra, Mumbai to have the allegations of false implication and custodial torture be inquired by a senior IPS officer of his choice, other than the CID Branch or posted within the municipal area of Greater Mumbai, and submit a detailed report to the Commission within four weeks. Notice also be issued to the Director General/ Inspector General of Prisons, Maharashtra, who is directed to send a copy of the initial health screening report of the victim Shri Ghanshyam Singh at the time of his admission in jail along with his entire medical treatment record during his stay in the custody within 4 weeks. The complainant is required to inform the Commission, and also submit supporting documents, if any, if the victim has received any medical treatment, and also if the victim has informed the concerned Court regarding the alleged torture when he was produced before the Court.”