Custodial death of a Lambada but stoic silence prevails

Custodial death of a Lambada but stoic silence prevails
Highlights

Jaipal Jadhav alias Jai Singh (28) was dragged out of his home by five constables and a sub-inspector even while Geeta (5), Pallavi (4) and Laddu (3), his three children, his wife Nirmala Bai, his parents and the entire village was watching. Jaipal’s hands and legs were tied with his shirt and his inner wear.

Zaheerabad: Jaipal Jadhav alias Jai Singh (28) was dragged out of his home by five constables and a sub-inspector even while Geeta (5), Pallavi (4) and Laddu (3), his three children, his wife Nirmala Bai, his parents and the entire village was watching. Jaipal’s hands and legs were tied with his shirt and his inner wear.

“Like a baby lamb is tied and taken away, they kept beating him black and blue even though we pleaded with them to put him in jail if he had stolen something. I couldn’t see my grandson suffer the torture. I asked them to hang him instead of torturing and killing him. But they pushed me to the floor,” said Gurri Bai (82), Jaipal’s grandmother who witnessed the barbaric act committed suicide on June 18, 2017 at Sajjaraopet thanda in Jadimalkapur village of Mogudampally mandal.

According to the villagers, five constables and SI Satyanarayana from Zaheerabad police station came in mufti in a police jeep which they parked on the outskirts of the village. The injuries inflicted on Jaipal are not short of anything one may witness in some ISIS videos. The policemen also tossed Jaipal’s body across a fence as their jeep was parked on the other side. He was then taken to the police station.

On June 19 his legs and hands were swollen according to his family. He was not given food and water. On June 20, Jaipal told his father about the torture he was subjected to in the police station. On June 2, Jaipal’s wife gave bananas to the policemen to feed her husband, but they did not give him the fruits. The same night, policemen called the villagers (not Jaipal’s family) and informed them that Jaipal fell sick and was shifted to Gandhi Hospital.

As the family came to know, they went to the police station, where they were first told that Jaipal was taken to Zaheerabad Area Hospital and later they said he was taken to Balaji Hospital in Sangareddy. Finally they took Jaipal’s parents in a police vehicle to Gandhi Hospital in Hyderabad on June 22 . At around 6 am the family members saw their son’s dead body at the mortuary. The body was shown to the family members only after the post-mortem was done.

Chandrashekar Reddy, Superintendent of Police, Sangareddy, had said that a case of custodial death was registered and that investigation was on. According to Jaipal’s family members, he was a migrant labourer who travelled to Mumbai and other cities in the north for labour work. He was an ITI diploma holder. He was sent to jail for 4-5 days in 2016 on charges of stealing vehicles. It is believed that Zaheerabad police arrested him this time around on similar charges.

There is a stoic silence prevailing in the village after the gruesome police action. “Media people are coming, getting details from us, taking videos, showing them to the police and becoming mute. There is not a single person who can get the truth out,” said a villager. The family is broke, as Jaipal, along with his brothers share only 27 guntas of land. Nirmala Bai has three kids to take care, with no support from the only breadwinner who is now no more.

As per GOMs No 439 issued on October 17, 1997 by the Government of erstwhile Andhra Pradesh, “exgratia relief is sanctioned to be paid to the next of the kin of the persons who die while in police custody/lockups irrespective of the cause of the death whether due to torture, natural or any other reasons as a measure of solace.” The immediate amount of Rs 20,000 is supposed to be released by the Collector or District Magistrates who are authorised to do so.

This is still not done. In fact Jaipal’s family members tell us that he was carrying a cover having Rs 10,000 in cash when he was taken away. When he tried to give it to his mother, the police took it with them. According to the villagers, nobody has come for any enquiry into the incident yet. As per Section 176 (1A) of CrPC, as amended by the Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Act of 2005, which came into force with effect from June 23, 2006, an enquiry should be done by a Judicial Magistrate of First Class in cases of custodial death where there is reasonable suspicion of foul play or well founded allegation of commission of an offence.

There is also a High Court order to support the same in the case of Nazma Begum, whose husband Md Ibrahim; an auto driver was beaten to death by Moinpet police in Rangareddy district on July 16, 2008. The High Court gave an order for an enquiry with a Judicial Magistrate instead of an Executive Magistrate. The order was delivered on April 29, 2016 but till date enquiry has not been done, which is a contempt of court.

Even in the case of Jaipal Jadhav, a Judicial Magistrate should do the enquiry, opined D Suresh Kumar, Joint Secretary, Indian Association of People’s Lawyers. He also felt that the victim’s family should be given immediate financial relief as per GO 439.

By Vivek Bhoomi

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