Human Rights

Fine and imprisonment in custodial death case

A court in its verdict against the SHO responsible for the custodial death of Salem two years ago, has charged him for murder and imposed on him a fine of one lakh rupees. The court has also ordered a departmental inquiry against IO and that a case should be filed against one constable who lied as a witness to the court. The court has acquitted three other policemen including a head constable on the basis of insufficient proofs against them.

According to available reports, on 30 August 2007 a resident of Village Khaus Pora, Abul, had registered a case with the Mirza Pura police station in which he said that during the intervening night of 29-30 August, SHO and head constable of Mirza Pur police station had arrested his brother Salem under the Forest Act at Margoob's Farm House in Hindu Wala Gawon and tortured him the whole night. After that Salem was admitted in the district hospital where his condition was declared serious and he was shifted to PGI Chandigarh where he breathed his last. In this connection the case of murder and abduction was also field against Noorsen, Asim and Rashid, and on 28 November 2007, a chargesheet was filed against the accused in the Court.

At that time SSP, SHO and head constable were suspended. The important thing was that the deceased's brother, Abul, who filed the case against the police, could not remain firm on his stand and most of the witnesses of the case did the same. But the two widows of the slain person remained firm in their deposition. Rukhsana and Peaku, both widows, recorded their statements in the Court. Avilable reports said that when they went to the police station they found Salem unconscious and some blood was oozingout from his head. Police had taken him to the district hospital in that condition. The post mortem report revealed the same story. After hearing arguments of the case additional Judge Neraesh Jain's Court declared SHO, Zila Singh, guilty and sentenced him to life imprisonment with one lakh fine and the other four accused were acquitted on the basis of insufficient evidences. The then IO Mirza Pur P.K.Tayagi was also found guilty and a departmental inquiry was ordered against him for giving false statement in the Court. The case has also been filed against Constable Oam Prakash.

Majid Jahangir

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 November 2009 on page no. 11

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