— NEW DELHI
our persons, including a
tourist guide, have been
arrested on charges of
sexually assaulting a U.S.
tourist at a luxury hotel
in New Delhi in April
Aniruddha Singh, a Nepal-
based tourist guide, Omprakash,
Maqsood and Vivek, all in their
late 20s, were arrested during
raids conducted by the Delhi
“On the complaint of a Delhi-
based NGO, we contacted the vic-
tim and filed a case on the basis
of her statement,” said Joint
Commissioner of Police
Dependra Pathak. “During our
inquiry, we conducted several
raids in Delhi and other cities and
arrested four persons.”
The Delhi Commission for
Women (DCW) asked why police
did not inform its Rape Crisis Cell
when they recorded the woman’s
statements on Dec. 20.
Pathak said that police registered the case just two hours
after the victim gave a statement
“We investigated the case pro-
fessionally and recorded the vic-
tim’s statement last week when
she arrived in Delhi from
America,” he said.
Among the suspects,
Omprakash was said to be a driver, Maqsood a helper, and Vivek
a bellboy at the hotel where
police said the crime occurred.
Police initially identified Vivek as
the first to enter the victim’s
room on the day of the assault.
Police said the 30-year-old
American reported she had been
gang-raped at a luxury hotel in
the first week of April 2016.
Pathak said the accused have
denied the charges.
Police said they originally had
few leads since there were no
CCTV cameras on the same floor
as the woman’s room. Charges
were filed early in December
after External Affairs Minister
Sushma Swaraj intervened.
Meanwhile the victim’s advocate, Mritunjay, who had earlier
said that both he and his client
were dissatisfied with the status
of the probe, said that he was still
unhappy with police efforts.
DCW chief Swati Maliwal,
writing on Twitter, said the NGO
was critical of the police’s
“Such instances defame
India,” Maliwal tweeted.
“Confidence of women in police
decreases. Police should have
obeyed directions of High Court
and called DCW counsellor.”
Four Charged in U.S. Tourist’s Gang Rape at Luxury Hotel
By Ashok Sharma
— NEW DELHI
early 600 people died in
Indian police custody from
Human Rights Watch said
police regularly disregard arrest
procedures and torture detained
people to death. The police often
blame such deaths on suicide or
While torture is illegal in the
country, many Indian police are
open about extracting confessions or details about crimes by
applying the "third degree" - a
euphemism that can encompass
anything from a couple of slaps
to a savage beating.
"Until you use third degree
against them, they will not
speak," said Jairaj Sharma, a
retired police officer in India's
Uttar Pradesh state.
Citing government data, the
report said 97 people died in
police custody in 2015. In 67 of
those cases, the suspects died
within 24 hours of being arrested
or authorities failed to take the
suspects before a magistrate
within 24 hours of arrest, as
required by law.
India's Home Ministry did not
reply to a request for comment
on the report on Monday.
Human Rights Watch said
strict enforcement was needed of
existing arrest guidelines, such as
informing the families of those
arrested, providing medical
examinations and quickly producing suspects before magistrates.
The New York-based group
demanded that police officers
who engage in torture and other
ill-treatment of prisoners be disciplined and prosecuted.
Police officers will only learn
that beating suspects is unac-
ceptable when some are prose-
cuted, said Meenakshi Ganguly,
South Asia director of Human
Rights Watch. "Our
research shows that
too often, the police
ing deaths in cus-
tody are more con-
cerned about shield-
ing their colleagues
than bringing those
responsible to jus-
tice," she said in an
Vikram Singh, a
top retired Indian
justice system is riddled with
problems, from desperately over-
crowded jails to suspects some-
times held for years as cases are
investigated. He said police offi-
cers have little con-
cern about being
punished if they
beat a suspect.
"My feeling is
that not many cases
(against police) have
been registered, not
many police officers
suspended, and cer-
tainly no one has
been dismissed in
recent years for
being brutal on
accused and wanted
said. Human Rights
Watch focused on 17 of the
reported deaths, conducting
more than 70 interviews with
witnesses, victims' families, jus-
tice experts, and police officials.
"In each of the 17 cases, the
police did not follow proper
arrest procedures, making the
suspect more vulnerable to
abuse," said Jayshree Bajoria, the
author of the report.
In one such case, 37-year-old
Shyamu Singh died after being
arrested in April 2012 in Uttar
Pradesh when police couldn't tell
him apart from his older brother
Ramu, who was suspected of
involvement in a string of extor-
tion and theft cases. When nei-
ther brother would give his iden-
tity, a group of policemen forced
Ramu to the floor. "Four people
held me down and one man
poured water in my nose contin-
uously. I couldn't breathe," the
report quoted Ramu as saying.
"Once they stopped on me, they
started on Shyamu."
When Shyamu fell uncon-
scious "they started worrying and
talking among themselves that
he is going to die. One of the men
got a little packet and put the
contents in Shyamu's mouth,"
Police told their family that
Shyamu Singh had killed himself
by taking poison.
An initial inquiry by the State
Investigation Department con-
cluded in 2014 that seven police
officers had tortured Singh and
poisoned him to death. But a
final inquiry report submitted a
year later cleared all seven,
according to the report.
Rights Group Counts Hundreds of Deaths in Police Custody
Assault allegedly occurred in in New Delhi in March 2016
An Indian policeman chases a Kashmiri protester during a protest in Srinagar, India, Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2011. Kashmiris shut down shops and businesses
Wednesday in a general strike to protest a man's death in police custody in the Indian-controlled portion of the disputed Himalayan region.
"In each of
the 17 cases,
the police did