If the J.C. Nagar police are to be believed, a man stole a motorcycle about the same time he was in their custody.

This improbable situation emerges out of the submissions made by the inspector and sub-inspector before the Karnataka State Human Rights Commission (KSHRC).

The two officers are being investigated for the illegal detention and torture of Bam Bahadur (35), a Nepali watchman. KSHRC's Inspector-General of Police found these officers guilty and the case is now pending orders by KSHRC chairperson S.R. Nayak.

So what was the two officers' submission to the IGP's indictment? Inspector M. Nagaraj of the J.C. Nagar police station makes no mention of the motorcycle theft.

Instead, he says Bam Bahadur and other Nepalis were being questioned in connection with a jewellery heist on August 22, 2011.

Mr. Nagaraj says Bam Bahadur was picked up for questioning on August 25, 2011 and released after 23 hours. (It is illegal to detain a person in police custody beyond 24 hours without the permission of a magistrate.)

He was again picked up at 10.30 a.m. on August 27 and released at 8 p.m. From then on, he was picked up in the morning and released by evening daily till August 31.

Mr. Nagaraj has provided the exact entry and exit time of Bam Bahadur for all the days except August 31. In his log for this day, he has mentioned only the entry time and not the exit time.

This seemingly minor omission gains significance in the light of sub-inspector Amol Kale's deposition which makes no mention of the jewellery heist. Instead, it mentions that on August 31, a motorcycle was stolen around 2 km from the police station.

Without mentioning that Bam Bahadur was being questioned by his superior around about the same time that the motorcycle was stolen, Mr. Kale goes on to allege that his men found Bam Bahadur riding the motorcycle on September 2 and arrested him.

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