The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Monday issued a notice to the chairman of Railway Board seeking a report on the arrest of a speech-impaired and dementia-affected man and his subsequent jail for allegedly travelling in ladies compartment of a local train in West Bengal.
Taking cognizance of media reports forwarded to it by a human right activist, NHRC issued the notice to the chairman of Railway Board seeking a reply within four weeks.
The 38-year-old, Biswanath Dutta, who is suffering from mild dementia and impaired speech, was arrested by the Railway Police Force on the November 2 for traveling on Ranaghat– Sealdah ladies’ special in violation of rules.
The RPF didn’t allow him to contact his family through them despite his request.
Custody for 11 days
He was produced before the magistrate who remanded him in judicial custody for 11 days after he failed to pay the fine of Rs 500.
“The Commission has observed that the contents of the press report, if true, raise a serious issue of violation of human rights of persons with disability. A notice has been issued to the chairman of Railway Board, New Delhi, calling a report in the matter within four weeks,” a statement from the NHRC said.
It is further alleged that the victim didn’t own a mobile phone. His family tried to find him and even contacted RPF but they allegedly failed to inform them about his arrest.