Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK) has demanded that a judicial probe committee be immediately formed to investigate the arrest and torture of cartoonist Ahmed Kabir Kishore and the demise of writer Mushtaq Ahmed in jail.
The human rights organisation has rejected the government's explanation that Mushtaq's death was due to heart disease, said a press release the ASK issued on Wednesday.
It also said the government is not taking steps to investigate what Kishore said after being released from 10 months in prison – that he was subjected to torture after his arrest.
According to the rights body, the death of author Mushtaq Ahmed – while in custody at the High Security Kashimpur Jail on charges of violating Digital Security Act – has raised concerns among many.
Although the autopsy report and the government investigation have blamed heart disease for Mushtaq's death, cartoonist Kishore has painted a different picture, added the organisation.
The authorities' denial of torture and their overall role have tarnished the image of law enforcement agencies at home and abroad, said ASK.
The law stipulates that an investigation must be completed and chargesheets submitted within a maximum of 105 days, but it took eight months to frame charges.
ASK said it firmly believes that human rights violations have happened in the cases of Mushtaq as well as Kishore.
Under the circumstances, the rights body put forward a five-point demand to the government.
The demands include: ensuring a judicial probe into the death of Mushtaq; identifying those responsible for the mental anguish or torture that the writer went through, and bringing them under the law; forming a judicial inquiry committee to look into the allegations of torture of Kishore and ensuring an investigation, making public the results or report of the judicial probe; amending the Digital Security Act on an urgent basis as per advice, in consultation with all parties concerned; plus not arresting anyone under this law till it is amended.