The Bihar Human Rights Commission on Friday took suo motu cognisance of a reported case of custodial death in Jehanabad district that fuelled protests on Friday morning.
The incident took place in the jurisdiction of Shakurabad police station in Jehanabad. Devki Chaudhary, an elderly man, who was in police custody on charges of electricity theft, died on Thursday night. After a local news channel ETV Bihar aired the news of his death, family members and villagers alleged custodial torture and protested at the police station. Officers at the station house and local MLA Abhiram Sharma were also roughed up. The agitators also staged a road block.
Taking cognisance of “the death of an elderly person taken in police custody due to misbehaviour/assault by the police/winter cold,” BHRC’s acting chairperson Neelmani directed BS Meena, Deputy Inspector General, Magadh Range, Gaya, “to get an enquiry into the incident and related aspects.” It called for an action taken report by January 28, 2014.
“The accused person died in the hospital. He was brought there by the police. A judicial inquiry as per the guidelines of the National Human Rights Commission has been instituted into the incident. We will be submitting a report soon,” Sayali Dhurat Savalaram told The Hindu.
Mohammad Sohail, district magistrate, Jehanabad, met the family members of the deceased accused. “He was over 70 years old. We will give compensation to the family under the NHRC guidelines for custodial death,” Mr. Sohail told The Hindu.
In the wake of the death, the BHRC also observed, “The incident raises another collateral issue – whether lock-up (hazats) in police stations are adequately equipped with protective gear including blankets to off-set the effect of bitter cold in winters.” It directed the State Home department to review the matter and apprise the Commission by February 14.
Courtesy: The Hindu