Manoj Singh

oil on canvas
20" x 10"
Manoj Singh

INDIA: Twelve-year-old Manoj Singh, implicated in the theft of a purse, was taken into custody by Indian police one evening in August of 1991, escorted by his father, Jairam Singh. When Manoj emerged from detention the following morning, his body was swollen from a torturous battering that accompanied his interrogation. His father, healthy the night before, now lay dead and disfigured. Revelation that Jairam Singh had been tied up and mercilessly beaten to death by authorities sparked riots outside of the police station in protest of an abusive criminal justice system that is exempt from culpability. Police brutality of this nature is a common occurrence in India, especially amongst the socially and economically disadvantaged, and children are not spared from its abuses. In 2000, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child reported ill treatment, corporal punishment, torture, and sexual abuse of children in Indian detention facilities. Most violations were committed with impunity. Work overload, lack of resources, intimidation, or mere disinterest by prosecuting officials all factor into a systemic pattern of police abuse that perpetuates unimpeded.