FIR against 3 cops in Bihar custodial death case after top official’s stinker
The FIR for Ramsewak Ram’s death in custody in November 2021 was filed by the Samastipur Police after Anil Kishore Yadav, the state’s Additional DG Weaker Section, sent a stinker to Samastipur SP and IGP
PATNA: A first information report (FIR) was finally registered on Sunday against three police officers in Bihar’s Samastipur for the alleged custodial torture of a Dalit man leading to his death in November last year.
The FIR was filed by the Samastipur Police after Anil Kishore Yadav, the state’s additional director general (Addl DG) Weaker Section, sent a stinker to the district superintendent of police (SP) Hriadaykant and the range inspector general of police (IGP) Lalan Mohan Prasad for not complying with his July 22 instruction to register the FIR and trying to mislead the state director general of police (DGP) SK Singhal.
“Keeping me in the dark, you thought it wise to write directly to the DGP with misleading facts to create unnecessary controversy. I had written to you that the matter was raised at the highest level before the chief minister and then a report had been sought from you,” Yadav said in his letter to the two police officers on September 5.
A copy of the letter was also marked to the state’s additional chief secretary (home), who is also the nodal officer of Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribes atrocities. HT has reviewed a copy of the letter.
Samastipur SP Hriadaykant said the FIR was registered with the SC/ST police station and the case was being investigated by deputy SP (headquarters) Anil Kumar.
The FIR has been registered under multiple provisions of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and Indian Penal Code under sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 341 (wrongful restraint), 342 (wrongful confinement), 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and 166 (public servant disobeying law with intent to cause injury to any person).
The order to file an FIR against three police officers including the then sub-divisional police officer Sahariyar Akhtar was issued after a probe by the Bihar Police’s Weaker Section team into the death of Ramsewak Ram, a sweeper with the Rosera Nagar Parishad 100km from Patna, who died on November 5 last year.
The Samastipur Police did conduct an inquiry after Communist Party of India legislator Satyadeo Ram brought the case to the attention of chief minister Nitish Kumar but it exonerated the police.
But Anil Kishore Yadav of the state’s weaker section found this investigation to be very “shallow” and set up a special investigation team (SIT) to go into the case in detail.
The SIT inquiry found huge holes in the version put out by the district police, which was described by Ramsewak’s family as an eyewash.
According to the SIT probe, Ramsewak Ram was arrested by the police after he allegedly slapped the Rosera Nagar Parishad’s executive officer Jai Chandra Akela on October 30, 2021, for not clearing his dues for four months. Akela promptly filed a complaint and Ramsewak Ram was arrested on October 31 on the verbal directions of then SDPO Sahariyar Akhtar. Hours later, Ramsewak Ram was admitted to Sadar hospital in Samastipur. But as his condition continued to deteriorate, he was referred first to the Darbhanga Medical College and later to Patna Medical College. Ramsewak died on November 5 due to “septicaemia and its complication in the brain”, the SIT said, citing the autopsy report.
The special team, which went through CCTV footage at the police station, said in its eight-page report that Ramsewak was brought to the police station at 10:36am on October 31 and taken out with help of three men at 18:25pm.
The SIT said the police officers concerned kept changing their version on the timing of the accused’s arrest and the documentation at the police station did not confirm that Ramsewak was formally arrested. But the CCTV footage indicated that Ramsewak was kept in police lockup for eight hours without having food and water.