Around half a dozen policemen, including a suspended inspector, were charged on Sunday for allegedly beating, torturing and gangraping a woman whose brother-in-law had died in police custody in Rajasthan's Churu district on July 6.
The Dalit woman, who is admitted at SMS Hospital in Jaipur, alleged she and her brother-in-law Nemichand were illegally detained by the then Station House Officer and other policemen of Sardarshahar Police Station in Churu.
"Based on the woman's statement, recorded Saturday, an FIR against the then SHO and five to seven other policemen was registered today. The case will be investigated by CID-CB," said Sardarshahar Police Station SHO Mahendra Dutt Sharma, who took charge after Nemichand's death came to light.
The case has been registered under sections 376-D (gangrape), 343 (wrongful confinement for three or more days), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) of the Indian Penal Code and relevant sections of the SC and ST (Prevention Of Atrocities) Act.
Nemichand, 22, was arrested in a theft case on July 6 morning and was admitted to a hospital where he died in the night, officials have maintained.
This account has, however, been contested by his family.
Nemichand was picked up by the police on June 30 and kept in illegal detention, Nemichand's brother has alleged.
"The policemen then came to my home with my brother on July 3 but took him back along with my wife on the same day. On the way to the police station, my brother told my wife that he was being beaten and tortured. They kept both in illegal detention and beat them. My brother was murdered by the police on July 6," Nemichand's brother has claimed.
He has alleged his wife was beaten, her nails plucked, eyes hurt and even gangraped by the policemen.
He said his wife was the witness to the murder of his younger brother in police custody.
He further alleged that the accused policemen forced his family to conduct the last rites of Nemichand on the night on July 7.
Nemichand's brother has accused the then Station House Officer Ranvir Singh among the "five to seven other policemen" who tortured and gangraped his wife.
After Nemichand's custodial death came to light, the SHO and six other policemen were suspended. Remaining policemen of the station were shunted to police lines and a judicial inquiry was ordered.
A written complaint signed by the woman from SMS hospital has been sent to DGP Bhupendra Singh on Friday, following which her statement was recorded on Saturday.
The government has also removed Churu SP Rajendra Kumar and put him on APO (awaiting posting orders) status, citing administrative reasons and Circle Officer, Sardarshahar, Bhanwar Lal was suspended late on Friday night.
"We demand stern action against the accused policemen. This is the cruel face of police and we will be holding a statewide protests to make sure the victim family gets justice," Sunil Kranti, a social activist assisting Nemichand's family, said.
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