- Pradeep Tomar's family alleges he was tortured in police custody in Hapur
- The 35-year-old was detained for questioning over killing of a relative
- Son allegedly made to stand outside police post, given packet of chips
Four days after the alleged custodial death of a 35-year-old security guard's in western Uttar Pradesh's Hapur, three policemen have charged with murder. No one, however, has been arrested. The three police officials, including a deputy superintendent, are accused of beating up the man inside a police post and torturing him with screwdrivers as his young son was made to wait outside.
On Sunday, Pradeep Tomar, the son of a farmer, was detained at a police post in Hapur, 107 km from Delhi, for questioning over the killing of his relative's wife nearly one-and-a-half month ago. He was tortured allegedly by group of policemen inside the police station.
The man's family has alleged that he was beaten up mercilessly by the police during interrogation, due to which his condition worsened. Pradeep Tomar's 10-year-old son was allegedly made to stand outside the police post all night, handed a packet of chips and threatened to keep shut.
"We were picked up from a toll tax booth. He was assaulted very badly. They gave him electric shocks. They hit him with lathis and stabbed him with screwdrivers. They put a gun into my mouth and threatened me saying I should keep my mouth shut. Later, one of the policemen gave me a packet of chips as I stood outside the police station, sobbing. They kept assaulting my father all this while," Mr Tomar's son told NDTV. The policemen were allegedly drunk.
A video shot by the family of the killed man in the hours after the assault shows black marks on bottom and what look like stab marks on his back. Blood can be seen on the body and clothes of the man.
The investigation in the case has been handed to a policeman of the rank of Sub Inspector, much below the rank of one of the accused policeman.
"Now, a case has been registered under Indian Penal Code sections 302 (murder) and 323 (assault) against Circle Officer Santosh Kumar, SHO Yogesh Baliyan, Sub-inspector Ajab Singh and one unnamed person," Hapur police chief Yesh Veer Singh told news agency PTI. The police said two of the three policemen have been suspended and that there will be more action in the case which was filed after a complaint by Pradeep Tomar's younger brother.
The action against the policemen came a day after the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) issued a notice to the Uttar Pradesh Chief Secretary and the state police chief and sought their report.
"The Commission has observed that going by the contents of the media reports, it appears to be a glaring instance of violation of human rights of an individual in police custody for which accountability rests on the police force of the state," it had said in a statement on Wednesday.
The human rights commission also asked Uttar Pradesh police chief OP Singh to mention in the report action taken against erring police officials and the steps taken to prevent such incident in the future by the state police.
It has asked the Chief Secretary to ensure the safety and security of the victim's family, mainly the young son of Pradeep Tomar, who was traumatised over the alleged torture and death of his father in police custody.
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Thursday accused the ruling BJP government of failing to stop crimes. "In Hapur, the son of a farmer was tortured by the police and he lost his life. His son was offered chips as incentive to keep quiet," she alleged. "This is shameful. The BJP government has completely failed to stop crime. Incidents of police excesses are coming everyday," the Congress leader said.
(With inputs from PTI)