Custodial torture: IIC among 3 suspended; home guard sacked

Sambalpur: Odisha’s Director General of Police (DGP) KB Singh on Thursday suspended Hirakud police station inspector-in-charge (IIC) Savitri Bal in connection with the torture of a minor boy in police custody.

Earlier in the day, Bal was shunted out to the district police headquarters by SP Akhileshwar Singh, who took the action based on the inquiry report of Burla SDPO on the matter.

Acting tough on the high-handedness of the officials of Hirakud police station, Singh had also suspended constables – Ambuja Sahoo and Jeet Narayan Podha – and sacked home guard Siba Gouda in connection with the case.

The SP had ordered the Burla SDPO to probe the matter and asked for a report within 12 hours.

An exclusive video footage aired on OTV on Wednesday showed the minor boy, who was brought to the police station on charges of involvement in some petty quarrel, being thrashed mercilessly by officials of the Hirakud police station in Sambalpur district.

The 15-year-old boy was released after Rs 6,000 was paid as bribe on September 19.

The victim said, “The lady police officer wearing shoes stood on my neck making me breathless. She also kicked on my face. Total four officers beat me up on my neck, feet and legs. They thrashed me black and blue after tying my hands and legs.”

The boy further stated the lady police officer took Rs 6,000 from his mother. “The police officers threatened my mother to forward me to the local court if she did not pay up,” he said.

Elaborating on the ordeal, the boy’s mother told newsmen, “The police officers asked for Rs 7,000. However, I managed to arrange only Rs 6,000 and gave it to a lady officer at the police station in the presence of other staff.”

Though the boy accepted his involvement in beating up a man and snatching his mobile phone, the police officers did not listen to his pleas and thrashed him.
This act violates the Supreme Court’s guidelines that bar keeping a minor under police custody, besides the directive of the Human Rights Commission.

Meanwhile, social activist Biswapriya Kanungo moved the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and filed an online complaint on the police torture on the minor boy. In his complaint, Kanungo demanded Rs 10 lakh compensation for family of the boy. Besides, the social activist sought a criminal case to be registered and departmental action taken against the officers involved.