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75-year-old hung from tree, tortured by cops

Dholpur: In what is being seen as a major embarrassment for the Rajasthan police, a 75-year-old man, Jaidev, was hung from a tree and tortured at a police station in Dholpur. His wife who had protested was threatened that she would meet the same fate. Jaidev’s crime – a robbery on March 27, in a motor parts showroom.

Police claim he was the leader of the Bawariya gang that stole goods worth Rs 1.5 lakh. They say they traced him on the basis of a mobile that was also stolen from the shop using the IMEI number. All this was done in front of Rajendra Kaviya, SHO of the police station.

Now, 24 hours after the story broke, Rajasthan police have sprung into action.

“The matter has been given to Inspector General, CID Human Rights, Mr N Morris Babu. I have asked him to investigate. He will go to Dholpur tomorrow with a team and will camp there and conduct an enquiry,” Rajasthan Director General of Police Harish Meena said.

The State Human Rights Commission has taken suo moto cognisance of the incident. Justice NK Jain, who heads the commission has asked the SP for a report to be submitted within a week. “If we are not satisfied with the report, we will conduct our own investigation,” Jain said.

When the pictures of Jaidev being tortured became public, the police suspended the SHO and two other police officials who were clearly visible in the photographs. One of them was an assistant Sub-Inspector and the other was a Constable; they were both seen with the SHO torturing Jaidev.

“Whatever has happened is wrong and it’s not the police per say to blame, it’s an aberration for which an individual is responsible, and that individual – the SHO has been suspended. Action will be taken against him,” said Surendra Kumar, SP Dholpur.

But before the enquiry could even begin, Jaidev was hurriedly presented in court by the police and sent to jail.

“I am innocent. Police took me away forcibly from my home and brought me here,” said Jaidev, victim.

However, human rights activists say there should be criminal proceedings against the police.

“FIRs should be lodged. Section 302, attempt to murder should be used. There should be a case of criminal conspiracy. Those people are clearly visible in the picture. You are simply sending that person on a holiday by suspending them,” said Kavita Srivastava, from People’s Union for Civil Liberties.

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