India: Illegal arrest, detention and torture of writer and human rights defender Rupesh Kumar Singh and Advocate Mithilesh Singh by Bihar police
June 28, 2019, 1:05 am
Status of Human Rights Defenders:
Mr. Rupesh Kumar Singh was a prominent student leader associated with the All India
Student Association (AISA). He is well-known in social media for his progressive writing.
He is a social activist, an independent journalist and is also associated with a labour
organization in Bakaro. Mr. Mithilesh Singh is a social activist and a lawyer at Ramgarh
As per the sources, on June 4, 2019, at about 8 AM, Mr. Rupesh Kumar Singh along
with Mr. Mithilesh Kumar Singh, a social activist and a lawyer at Ramgarh Civil
Court were travelling to Aurangabad, the ancestral village of Mr. Mithilesh in a car.
When they did not reach Aurangabad on the desired time and their cell phone went
unreachable, the family members of Mr. Mithilesh went to file a missing complaint with
the Ramgarh police station which they managed to register the next day.
Both the family members were astonished to know from the daily newspapers that on
June 7, 2019, Mr. Rupesh, Mr. Mithilesh and the driver were arrested from Dobhi More
at NH-2, near Sherghati, around 30 km from Gaya on June 6, 2019 and were charged
under Sections 414 and 120B of the India Penal Code, along with other sections under
the Explosive Substances Act. The following day, a unit of the Bihar Police illegally
searched Mr. Rupesh’s house in Ramgarh and Bokaro, and seized his mobile phone,
laptop and few books on Lenin, Marx etc.
It is alleged that the Bihar police had arrested three of them illegally on June 4, 2019, at
about 9.30 AM from near village Padma near Hazaribagh. It will be pertinent to mention
here that all of them were forcefully handcuffed and face covered with cloth at the spot
and brought to the Paramilitary (Cobra battalion) base camp at Barachetti, where all of
them were badly tortured especially Mr. Rupesh Kumar who was threatened for his
progressive writing and political work. It is clear that the police had Mr. Rupesh and Mr.
Mithilesh in illegal custody till June 6, 2019 as per news reports.
The Commission is appraised that Mr. Rupesh Kumar and Mr. Mithilesh are being
targeted by Bihar police for their progressive writings and activism and are beingvictimised by being entangled in false and fabricated cases. Further by not following
proper arrest procedures and having used handcuffs and covering of faces by the Bihar
police amounts to blatant violation of D.K. Basu guidelines on arrests which has now
being incorporated under the Indian Criminal Procedure Code.
It is once again brought to the notice of the Commission that the present case is yet
again an example of how harassment, intimidation and illegal detention has become a
routine practice by the State against human rights defenders and activists who dare to
stand up for what is right.