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3.4 Disappearances Investigation Unit (DIU) of the Police Department

Consequent to the establishment of the MPU in the Attorney General’s Department, it became necessary for a special unit to be established in the Police Department to attend exclusively to cases referred to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) for further investigation. This unit – the Disappearances Investigation Unit (DIU) – was established in 1997 with a retired Deputy Inspector General of Police as its head.  

As evidence given before the Commissions of Inquiry is not admissible in courts of law, it is necessary for normal legal procedures to be followed prior to the institution of court proceedings. Thus, the MPU refers cases in which there is direct evidence of responsibility for causing disappearances to the  IGP so that the statements of witnesses can be recorded by police officers afresh. The evidence laid before the Commissions of Inquiry thus has to be re-recorded by police officers of the DIU, who use the evidence elicited by the Commissions as the basis for their investigations. At the beginning the year 2000, the IGP had referred 2796 such cases to the DIU for investigation.

The approved cadre of the DIU provides for one Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), three Assistant Superintendents of Police (ASP), 18 Inspectors of Police, 7 Sub-Inspectors, 55 Police Constables and 21 police drivers. An Inspector heads each investigation team, while each ASP supervises five teams.

However, the teams work very slowly. This is possibly because the investigating DIU officers are sympathetic to colleagues who are under investigation and because there is little political will to see these prosecutions succeed. One SSP who was in charge of the Unit tried to take speedy action against some senior police officers named by the Commissions, but faced problems with the Police Department and experienced pressure to delay the investigations.

Posted on 2003-06-15



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Cyberspace Graveyard for Disappeared Persons
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