Two minor boys who were allegedly tortured for seven days in a Railway Protection Force (RPF) lockup were rescued by the Cuttack district administration on Tuesday.
Following this, the railways authorities have ordered a probe on Wednesday.
The district child protection officials raided the premises of RPF at Cuttack railway station, about 30 km from here, on Tuesday and rescued Bikash (14) and Loknath (12), both residents of a nearby slum.
The illegal detention came to notice after the family members of the victims sought the help of social activists and media who, in turn, alerted the district administration.
“The boys said they were kept in the lockup since December 31 by the RPF personnel and beaten up. We have also found some injury marks on their bodies”, district child protection office Pragati Mohanty said.
“We were fed once a day but beaten twice a day with clubs by three policemen at a time,” Bikash, one of the rescued boys, said.
The RPF had taken the boys into custody for stealing wheat from the railways’ goods shed and other items in and around the railway station. But it could not explain why this was not brought to the notice of the district administration, which they are bound to do, or produced before the juvenile court within 24 hours of detention.
Cuttack district collector SN Girish said the administration would take appropriate action against the RPF officials after further investigation. In the meanwhile, the boys have been sent back home.
East Coast Railway inspector general and chief security commissioner SK Mishra has asked senior divisional security commissioner C Marandi to probe into the matter. “He (Marandi) will take appropriate action following the inquiry and submit an action taken report within a week,” Mishra said.