An organisation working for welfare of tribals and agricultural labourers staged a protest at Sendhwa sub-divisional headquarters on Tuesday against the alleged custodial death of a 51-year-old tribal man Rem Singh in Chachariya in October.
“Adivasi Mukti Sangthan (AMUS) took out a rally and submitted a memorandum addressed to chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, to sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) ML Kanel. They continued demonstration in front of Chachariya police post for the eighth day, demanding that either a murder case be lodged against police officials or the identity of the accused be revealed,” AMUS general secretary Gajanand Brahmane said.
The decomposed body of Rem Singh was found at a field on October 11, three days after police allegedly arrested him over a marital dispute following a complaint by his brother-in-law.
The protesters alleged that former Chachariya police outpost in-charge Prakash Rai and constable Anil Purohit had sent thugs to the house of deceased tribal Rem Singh to pressurize his kin for an out-of-court compromise.
At Sendhwa, they sat on a dharna in front of the SDM’s office for three hours when Kanel refused to full fill their demands. The demonstrators ended the dharna at 6pm.
Three of their related demands were declaring Barwani a drought-affected district, providing compensation to the kin of the 15 cholera victims in Pansemal and stopping migration.
Brahmane, who had met Barwani superintendent of police Siddharth Bahuguna after recovery of Singh’s body, alleged that police thrashed the victim at his home and took him to the outpost where he was assaulted. “Singh died due to custodial torture after which police dumped the body near Khurmabad, four kilometres from Chachariya,” he alleged.
On October 12, Singh’s family prevented doctors at the hospital from performing autopsy. They demanded registration of a murder case against all police personnel at the outpost and sought their arrest. It was only after SP Bahuguna suspended police post in-charge Prakash Rai and ordered a probe by SDOP Sendhwa Sunil Jolly that the postmortem was allowed. “The viscera report stated that Singh died due to alcoholism. Each and every inquiry report has been shown to the deceased’s family. Rai denied the allegations, saying Singh had been released the same night,” said Bahuguna.