Nimta rehabilitation centre faces torture slur
Family members of several patients admitted to a rehabilitation centre at Nimta in North 24-Parganas have alleged that the authorities tortured them physically and mentally, denied them food over trivial issues and served them poor quality food.
Family members of the inmates spoke on condition of anonymity and out of concern for the patients who are recovering at the facility from drug addiction.
The allegations against the centre come in the backdrop of the killing of Birati resident Partha Raha, 49, by a section of officials on Tuesday night. Partha was allegedly beaten to death for secretly calling up his brother to inform him about the ill-treatment meted out to the patients.
Police had arrested the two accused officials, Subhankar Mondal and Subhashis Chakraborty, on murder charge, while the owner of the Su-Drishti Darshan Rehabilitation Centre, Apu Bagal, is still untraceable.
“Some officials are so brutal that they do not even bother to use wooden sticks to beat the inmates, many of whom are not mentally stable enough owing to their history of addiction to drugs. The voice of their pain will remain confined inside the concrete walls of the centre forever and would have never reached the world unless Partha Raha had died,” the family member of an inmate said.
“My elder brother became a drug addict a few years ago. We admitted him to the rehabilitation centre last year. He was trying hard to return to normal life and recovering well. He was scheduled to return home on Thursday,” said Pranab Raha, the brother of the deceased.
The police and family sources said Partha was actually scheduled to return home on Tuesday. However, the trip was cancelled owing to a request from the facility’s owner, a family source said.
“Dada was quite puzzled and lost in despair because of the delay to return home. He called up home on Tuesday and urged me to bring him back fast as staying at the centre had become unbearable because of torture. But officials came to know about the secret call as well as the complaint about ill-treatment. This angered the officials who tied my elder brother with a rope and thrashed him mercilessly with sticks and hard objects,” said Pranab.
“A regular scanning on the activities of these privately-run centres by the administration could stop these atrocities and tortures,” said another family member.
A senior official of deputy commissioner’s (south) office of the Barrackpore police commissionerate said: “While checking the veracity of the allegations, many inmates personally confirmed to us that the officials used to torture them physically. This is quite horrible.”
“We have arrested two officials and are trying to track down the owner as well for his statement,” the official added.