Lankan alleges torture by Coast Guard; court orders treatment

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Thiruvananthapuram, Apr 24 (PTI) A Sri Lankan, an accused in the recent seizure of heroin and AK-47 rifles and ammunitionfrom a Lankan fishing vessel off the Vizhinjam coast, has claimed before a court that he suffered burns due to alleged torture onboard a Coast Guard vessel.

Additional Sessions Court Judge Biju Menon K had, on Friday, directed to produce the Lankan before the Chief Judicial Magistrate here for taking appropriate action under section 190 (Cognizance of offences by Magistrate) of the CrPC.

Also, the court directed to admit L Y Nandana (46) to the medical college hospital here to treat his injuries.

'It was stated that the burns were inflicted by Coast Guard personnel at the time of custody in their vessel. He was apprehended and made to lie down in a supine position on a heated iron plate used for cooking. He has severe burn injuries on his entire back and he is not in a position to even wear a shirt,' the court said in its order.

In a major anti-drug trafficking operation undertaken by the Coast Guard in March from the western coast, about 300 kg of drugs, valued at Rs 3,000 crore in the international market and five AK-47 rifles with 1,000 live rounds, were seized from the boat off Minicoy in Lakshadweep.

The court, in its order, stated that the accused, produced before the court through video conferencing, was seen covered in a towel and on inspection burn marks were found on his entire back.

The court ordered to produce him in person and the judge interrogated him with the help of a translator and later pronounced the order.

The seizure was made by the Coast Guard on March 18.

This was the second major anti-drug trafficking operation undertaken by the Coast Guard on the West Coast of India within a fortnight.

On March 5, the Coast Guard had intercepted a Lankan boat off Minicoy with six crew.

They had admitted to carrying 200 kg of heroin and 60 kg of hashish, which were dumped into the sea upon sighting the Coast Guard ships on patrol, the agency had said. PTI RRT NVG NVG