The Iqbal Toofanny case has rallied much public opinion and support. The man had died when he was under police surveillance at the hospital. It is suspected that he was a victim of police brutality. The affair has triggered a number of discussions in the country and his family is actively seeking justice for him. An investigation is ongoing.
The medical report of the Principal Police Medical Officer, Dr Sudesh Gungadin, submitted to the Human Rights Commission includes the observation of 15 injury marks on the corpse of the victim Iqbal Toofanny. The latter died when he was under police surveillance shortly after he was brought to the hospital on the 2nd of March at around 10h00.
Another doctor from the private sector, Dr Amar Charya Gujjalu, had written a report relating to the autopsy. He had observed only nine injuries on the body of Iqbal Toofanny.
Could these injuries be confirming the claims that Iqbal Toofanny was harshly brutalised by police officers? Did he thereafter die of the wounds? To provide answers to these questions, an investigation is ongoing.
DPP Satyajit Boolell had initiated the start of a judicial investigation to shed light on the circumstances that led to the death of the victim. It is alleged that he was subject to police brutality. The five police officers in charge of his case when he was arrested were themselves taken into custody but were later released on bail – each of them had paid Rs 9000 to be freed. Charges of “torture by public official” were pressed against them. Because of fears lest the police does not handle this case properly, the investigation will be done under the supervision of a magistrate – a decision by the DPP who justifies that it is in the interests of the public.
The five police officers involved with their lawyer (far right)
The lawyer of the Toofanny family, Erickson Mooneapillay, stated that he is satisfied with the decision of the DPP to have an independent investigation. The father of the victim, Yousouf Toofanny, shares the same feelings. He affirmed that he has to fight for justice for the sake of his son.
It is to be noted that the government has promised the introduction of a new law: the «Police and Criminal Evidence Bill», that is expected to review the methods used by the police force when carrying out their investigations. This point was discussed on Radio Plus recently. Yousouf Toofanny, together with Linley Couronne of the association DIS-MOI fighting for human rights, the ACP Vinod Downuth, Lindsey Collen of the NGO Justice, and Jaylall Buljawon of the Police Welfare Association had participated in the discussion.