Injury sustained by gangster points to custodial death: HC

The Delhi High Court on Thursday remarked that the nature of injury sustained by gangster Ankit Gujjar, who died inside Tihar jail last month, clearly shows that it was a case of custodial violence.

“It is writ large that it is a case of custodial violence and who has done it is also very clear,” Justice Mukta Gupta said while reserving order on the petition by Gujjar’s family members for transfer of investigation into his alleged murder to the CBI.

Extortion by officials

The 29-year-old gangster was found dead and two others were injured inside his cell in Tihar jail on August 4. The family has alleged that Gujjar was being harassed by jail officials as he was “unable to meet their regularly increasing demands for money” and was murdered “as part of pre-planned conspiracy”.

Advocate Mehmood Pracha, appearing for the family, alleged that the police did not conduct the investigation properly. Mr. Pracha said the DVR of the CCTV installed in the jail has yet to be recovered and the aspect of extortion of money by jail officials through online transactions was not being looked into.

“The status report filed before the Magistrate and the one filed here say that the injury is minor. The post-mortem shows 12 grievous injuries,” he said.

The counsel for the prosecution said the deceased, who was found to be in possession of a mobile phone amongst other things, had attacked the Deputy Superintendent (DS) earlier in the day. The counsel said action has since been initiated against certain officials.

“The issue is the moment a phone is recovered, your [jail] officer is asking for money...It is far more serious. What has happened to the deceased must have happened to others also,” the High Court said.

“He may have committed an offence [but] this man [jail official] not only beats him up but also gets CCTV closed...A life has been lost. Twelve injuries show it is a case of custodial torture,” the court remarked.

The jail administration, in its report, said four officials, including the Deputy Superintendent, have been suspended and eight others have been shifted from Central Jail No.3.

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Printable version | Dec 7, 2021 5:59:59 AM |

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