A woman police inspector and two constables were suspended while a home guard was dismissed in Odisha’s Sambalpur district over alleged torture of a boy in a police station.
The Odisha Human Rights Commission has lodged a suo motu complaint while a human rights lawyer moved the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) over the issue.
Sambalpur superintendent of police Akhileswar Singh suspended constables Ambuj Sahoo and Jeet Narayan Podh and dismissed home guard Siba Gauda of Hirakud police station after conducting an inquiry. Inspector in-charge Sabitri Bal was suspended by Odisha director general of police KB Singh on the basis of the SP’s report.
Supreme Court guidelines and NHRC’s directives prevent police from keeping minor offenders in custody.
The accused allegedly tortured a 17-year-old boy in Hirakud police station of the district, about 300km from Bhubaneswar, for two days in September 2015 after he was picked up on the suspect of stealing a mobile phone.
He was freed without lodging a case after his mother paid a bribe of Rs 6,000, it was alleged.
But the matter did not end there as a local TV channel aired footage of the torture on Wednesday. The video was apparently captured by a police official on his mobile phone, sources said.
The video showed the woman officer and the other policemen assaulting the boy.
“They tied my hands and legs. The officer kicked my face with her boots while four others hit my feet, legs and neck,” the boy alleged.
He said the policemen told his mother that he would be taken to a court if she did not pay money for his release.
Filling a suo moto complaint, the state human rights commission sought a report on the incident from Sambalpur police in a week.
Bhubaneswar-based human rights lawyer Biswapriya Kanungo moved the NHRC demanding a compensation of Rs 10 lakh for the boy’s family and criminal proceedings against the police officers.
“The incident shows the pathetic state of law and order in Odisha where law-keepers have no respect for human rights or child rights,” Kanungo said.