The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has asked its Director General (Investigation) to collect facts telephonically and submit a report by September 5 on the alleged custodial torture of surrendered Maoist leader Dunna Kesava Rao alias Azad at Jharpada prison in Odisha.
Azad has been on a hunger strike since August 4, protesting against his confinement.
The human rights body issued the direction on a petition moved by rights activist and lawyer Radhakanta Tripathy.
Azad had surrendered in Hyderabad on May 18 last year in the presence of the Director General Police of Andhra Pradesh and Juttu Jagannaikulu, the MLA representing Palasa constituency in Srikakulam.
After a few days on May 29, Azad was handed over to the Odisha Police for interrogation and since then has been kept in Jharpada jail, the petitioner alleged.
Azad was tortured there and this act of the Odisha Police violated basic human rights, said the petition, which sought investigation in this regard.
Another NGO has also moved the National Human Rights Commission to secure Azad’s human rights.
The local MLA has already written to Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde to consider the matter stating that Azad had surrendered in his presence and has expressed his wish to join the national mainstream.
So, he should not be kept behind the bars.