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Saturday, Oct 19, 2019

3 women allege torture inside police post in Assam, one suffers miscarriage

The police swung into action after the sisters told the media about their plight and alleged that the force had not acted for eight days on their complaint against the police personnel.

india Updated: Sep 18, 2019 07:15 IST
Sadiq Naqvi
Sadiq Naqvi
Hindustan Times, Guwahati
The three women were picked up early on September 9 from Guwahati and taken to a police post in Darrang district.
The three women were picked up early on September 9 from Guwahati and taken to a police post in Darrang district.(Representative image/AP)
         

Assam Police on Tuesday booked two of its officials for allegedly torturing, stripping and assaulting a pregnant woman and her two sisters inside a police outpost in Assam’s Darrang district last week. The woman who claimed she was two months pregnant reportedly suffered a miscarriage because of the assault.

The police swung into action after the sisters on Tuesday told the media about their plight and alleged that the force had not acted for eight days on their complaint against the police personnel involved in the assault.

The three sisters were picked up by the police following a kidnapping case lodged against their brother by the family of a woman with whom he had eloped earlier this month. The man and the woman are from different religions.

“A criminal case has been registered against under relevant sections of the law against the in-charge of the police outpost and the woman constable named in the complaint and both of them have been placed under suspension,” said Kuladhar Saikia, Assam’s director general of police.

The police chief also said that deputy inspector general of police B Singha has been asked to inquire into the incident and submit a report within seven days. The two police personnel have been booked for assault or use of criminal force on a woman with intent to outrage her modesty, wrongful confinement and assault or use of criminal force on a woman with intent to disrobe her.

One of the three sisters, a 28-year-old housewife had complained to Amrit Bhuyan, Superintendent of Police, Darrang, on September 10 that she, her husband and her two siblings were stripped naked, beaten up by two police officials - Mahendra Sarmah, the in-charge of the police post and a woman constable Binita Boro and,

She said that police officials from Darrang district landed at her residence in Guwahati at 1.30 am on September 9 and took her, her husband and two of her sisters one aged 30 and 18 to the Burah police outpost in Darrang.

“The officer in charge Mahendra Sarmah put a pistol to my head when I asked why he was taking us,” the complainant said on Tuesday. At the police post, she claimed the three sisters and her husband were assaulted by the cops.

“They locked up my husband. First, they stripped my youngest sister naked and hit her with a baton. She is partially disabled in her left leg. They hit her on the same leg,” the complainant said.

The elder sister (30), the second one to be allegedly assaulted said she kept telling the policemen that she was pregnant. “They hit me on the stomach. I have had a miscarriage,” the woman claimed. Police, however, claimed that they were not aware if she was pregnant or if she suffered a miscarriage since it was not mentioned in the complaint.

All the three sisters have dark red patches in various places which they claim is a result of beating by the police.

Even as the women were at the police post, their brother arrived at the police station with the woman he eloped with, according to the complainant. “He (the brother) is estranged with his first wife and was in a relationship with the woman he eloped with for the past two years,” said complainant.

The police released them in the evening that day.

According to the police, the family of the girl who had eloped registered a case of kidnapping against the man on September 6. “The brother kidnapped a girl from the other community as per the complaint. The police believed that the sisters were sheltering the brother and that is how they got to their home,” said Bhuyan. The women’s brother was arrested by the police.

Bhuyan also refuted claims that he did not take any action on their complaint saying he instituted an inquiry on September 11. “We are awaiting report of the inquiry. I have also asked for their medical report done after they were released on September 11,” said Bhuyan.

Sarmah and Boro, the two suspended police personnel, could not be reached for a comment despite various attempts through the day.

First Published: Sep 17, 2019 20:57 IST

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