Mrunal Manmay Dash

BJP’s Lok Sabha MP from Bargarh, Suresh Pujari has demanded Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to handover the probe of Dalit youth Gobinda Kumbhar’s death in police custody to an independent agency for free and fair investigation.

As per reports, Gobinda, a resident of Tora village in Bargarh district, had been picked up by the police on Friday night in connection with a quarrel case filed at the Town Police Station on July 20 this year. The next day, he was shifted to the district headquarters hospital after his condition deteriorated under mysterious circumstances. However, the doctors declared him dead.

In a letter to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday, Pujari said “The death of Sri Gobinda Kumbhar, a Dalit youth of village Tora in the district of Bargarh has shaken the human conscience of the entire society in Odisha. State has a primary responsibility in our glorious democracy to protect the life, property and liberty of its citizens and under no circumstances be the instrument of death of a common innocent person, particularly from the weaker section of the society,” wrote Pujari.

Reminding the CM of the Supreme Court’s ruling in similar cases, Pujari wrote, “The Apex court has also come down heavily in the part on the state governments on such issues and have framed certain guideline to be followed in the event of any violation of human rights, particularly in cases of custodial deaths.”

Pujari compared the action of the Police with the terrorist group Taliban and said that Talibanization of police is not at all a good sign of a healthy democracy. “The circumstances leading to the death of Gobinda Kumbhar and the apparent signs of injury on his body suggests criminal assaults, bringing the instant case under sec 304 (I) of Indian Penal Code,” he said.

He urged the Home department, which comes under the CM, to take serious note of the inhumane incident and direct the police to get a PS Case registered U/S-304. He further urged the department to get the relevant document of the case including CCTV footage of the PS at the relevant time, videography of the post mortem seized and preserved safely from fabrication.

Fearing tampering of evidence, Pujari urged CM Naveen to get the local police away from the investigation of the case, handover the case to some other independent investigating agency for a free and fair investigation and take stern actions against the accused police officials for their act of commission and omission.

“The family of the victim should be adequately compensated on humanitarian consideration and the process of law should be put into motion so that justice is not only be done instantly, but it will also appear to have been done freely and fairly,” he concluded.

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