Madhya Pradesh Police were alleged of inflicting extreme brutality and sexual abuse on a slum woman by the State Women’s Congress and several women’s rights groups here.
The police picked up Sushila Bai (40) and her son Deepu (12) last Wednesday night from their home on the charge of stealing Rs. 20,000 from the daughter of a senior Congress leader’s personal assistant.
The child and his mother were kept in custody at the T.T. Nagar police station for six hours and were allegedly subjected to inhuman torture. The woman was allegedly threatened with rape and more violence by Thana Incharge (TI) Umesh Tiwari and others if she didn’t return the money.
Hearing about the matter, the woman’s neighbours collected the Rs.20,000 demanded by the police and finally at 3 am in the morning, Sushila and Deepu were released.
However when Sushila’s neighbours got to know of the torture inflicted upon the woman and the child in custody, they gathered outside the police station in the morning to protest. At this, the police picked up the duo again and booked them for theft.
Meanwhile, the complainant reportedly informed the police that she had found her money said onlookers.
“It is a clear case of human and child rights violation and illegal detention. The woman and the child were subjected to intense torture by the police,” said Shobha Ojha, State president of the Madhya Pradesh Mahila Congress.
“Not only was she picked up at night, which is strongly objectionable, they willingly delayed presenting her before a magistrate. We demand that all five police officials concerned should be suspended and an inquiry be initiated against them,” she said.
A complaint in the matter has been filed with the state Human Rights Commission(HRC). The police also reportedly threatened the women activists present during the medical examination of the woman.
“It is correct that the woman and child were illegally detained and brutally beaten up. The police also tried to influence the HRC investigation by tampering with the medical reports,” said a high-ranking investigating officer in HRC, on the condition of anonymity. “We are investigating the matter and the guilty officers will be punished,” he added.
However, the police department has refuted these allegations.
“These are false allegations. The officials were just doing their duty and the people in question were at fault,” said Bhopal S.P. Jaideep Prasad. “I do not care what the HRC has to say. There are plenty of commissions in this country and they all keep giving out statements without knowing the facts,” he said.
Questions have been raised as to why the woman was first let off on late Wednesday night and arrested again the very next day.
The woman was finally released on bail on late Friday evening, while the child has been sent to a juvenile home.