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NHRC to investigate 'custodial death' in Odisha's Jharpada Jail
Following the suspected custodial death of a prisoner in an Odisha jail, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has asked its director general to hold an inquiry, besides asking local magistrate and police commissioner to explain why they didn't intimate the commission.

THE NATIONAL Human Rights Commission has ordered its Director General (Investigation) to hold an inquiry into a alleged custodial death in Odisha’s Jharapada Jail. An under-trail prisoner was suspiciously found dead in Jharpada Jail in Odisha’s state capital Bhubaneswar on 25th September, 2012.

Laxmishar Nanda, 52 of Birapratappur of Puri disrtict was lodged in JharPada Jail from 14 September. Family members found his dead body on 25th September at Capital Hospital, Bhubaneswar.

According to family members, Mr. Nanda was missing since 12 September. Police or Jail officials had not informed them about his arrest. After death of Laxmidhar, jail official informed the family members on the evening of the same day. Jail officials said that he was arrested by Excise officials in Bhubaneswar and produced in SDJM Court at Bhubaneswar.

Media reports say that some torture signs were found on his dead body. Human rights activist and managing trustee of Pipili-based organization, India Media Centre, Mr. Akhand has filed a petition before NHRC alleging that due to torture in jail or by excise officials, Mr Nanda died.

Taking this case very seriously, NHRC has directed its DG (Investigation) to inquire into the matter and collect the requisite reports from concerned authorities within eight weeks. As per NHRC guidelines any custodial death must be intimated to commission within 24 hours. But in this case concerned district magistrate and police commissioner have violated this guideline, so commission has sought “an explanation as to why an intimaton has not been sent to commission.”

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