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Undertrial dies, rights panel takes up case

Rupesh Paswan, a Nawada divisional jail undertrial, died in Patna Medical College and Hospital on Monday, prompting the state human rights commission to take suo motu cognisance of the incident.

Rupesh (40), a resident of Par village in Nawada district, was admitted to PMCH on Sunday with over 80 per cent burns after he allegedly immolated himself on the jail premises to exert pressure on the authorities to improve the quality of food served to inmates.

Nawada district magistrate Lalan Yadav confirmed Rupesh’s death saying the post-mortem would be conducted as per National Human Rights Commission guidelines. An investigation has already been ordered to unravel the truth behind the incident, he told The Telegraph over phone on Monday. He said a joint report of the sub-divisional officer and the sub-divisional police officer has been received and action would be taken. But he refused to disclose the report’s findings, saying it was “confidential”.

On the other hand, the state human rights commission has taken suo motu cognisance of the incident and sought a detailed report from district magistrate Yadav and superintendent of police Chandrika Prasad. “The two senior officials have been asked to send their report by August 14,” Neelmani, a member of the commission, said.

He added that the panel felt the need to seek a report as the victim claimed that he was set on fire allegedly by jailer Lal Babu Yadav and his close aides. “The commissioner has also served a notice asking the IG (prisons and correctional services) to submit his report by August 14. Deputy inspector-general, prisons (administration), Umakant Sharan visited the jail on Sunday.


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