iconimg Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Bhadra Sinha, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, September 18, 2013
The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered a CBI inquiry into the death of a man, who allegedly committed suicide in police custody after being harassed by the Jammu and Kashmir Police for marrying a Muslim girl four years ago. “What was the sin committed by this man? Just that he married a Muslim girl? We can understand that you might cross the parameters in case the person is a criminal or a terrorist. How do you explain the injuries sustained by this man,” asked a bench headed by justice CK Prasad, accepting the prayer of Rajneesh Sharma’s wife to hold a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into his death.

“We, prima facie, are of the opinion that the allegations made in the petition desires to be investigated by the CBI,” the bench said, while asking the agency to register the FIR. If the CBI probe indicts the police officials, Sharma’s wife Amina Yusuf, 33, can move court for compensation and seek transfer of the case outside Jammu and Kashmir.

Sharma died barely one-and-a-half months after his wife converted to Hinduism and took on the name, Anchal Sharma, to marry him on August 21, 2009.

According to her counsel, senior advocate Pinky Anand, the woman’s parents colluded with the police to cause Rajneesh’s death. They said the police allegedly picked him up a month after his marriage. On October 5, 2009, he was found dead at Munshi Bagh police station.

Anchal, her mother-in-law and brother-in-law moved the apex court seeking a CBI probe and R50 lakh as compensation.

Anand argued that Rajneesh’s post-mortem showed he had suffered 17 injuries all over his body. She also contended that the statements of witnesses showed that he died in custody due to police torture and electric shock.

The Jammu and Kashmir government denied that Rajneesh had died in police custody. The counsel representing the state claimed that Rajneesh was injured when he jumped off the terrace to evade the police. “A kidnapping case was registered against him,” the counsel told the court when asked what crime Rajneesh had committed.