Congress seeks CBI probe into ‘custodial death’

Governor urged to initiate inquiry ordered into incident of Dalit man’s death in Mantha police station

June 11, 2020 10:34 pm | Updated 10:34 pm IST - Hyderabad

TPCC president Uttam Kumar Reddy.

TPCC president Uttam Kumar Reddy.

The Congress party has demanded a CBI inquiry into the ‘custodial death’ of Srilam Rangaiah, a Dalit, who was found dead under mysterious circumstances in Mantha police station toilet a few days ago.

In an letter to Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan, Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) president N. Uttam Kumar Reddy, CLP leader Bhatti Vikramarka, MLA D. Sridhar Babu, ex-Deputy Chief Minister Damodar Rajanarasimha and SC Cell chairman Pritam said the circumstantial evidences clearly show that Rangaiah died allegedly due to third-degree torture by the police.

The TPCC chief said that Rangaiah, a resident of Ramayyapalli village in Ramgiri mandal of Peddapalli falling in Manthani Assembly constituency, was arrested by the police on May 24 under Wildlife Protection Act. On May 26, he was found dead in Manthani police station toilet.

He said as per FIR No. 127, Rangaiah was arrested on May 24 and was remanded to judicial custody on the same day. In that case, how was his body found on the police station’s premises on May 26. This leads to suspicion on the veracity of details furnished in the FIR.

Further, the letter said that the post-mortem was conducted in haste. As per religious rituals Rangaiah was to be buried, but the police forcibly cremated the body so as to wipe out evidence of torture. The haste with which post-mortem was conducted and the cremation strengthens the suspicion that Rangaiah was killed in the lock-up, the letter alleged. The TPCC chief alleged that the family members of Rangaiah were now being threatened by the police to hush up the case. “Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao often talks of ‘friendly policing’. But the behaviour of police personnel is completely against it,” he alleged.

He said the Hyderabad City Police Commissioner Anjani Kumar appointed as Inquiry Officer to probe into the incident by the High Court could not be expected to investigate in a non-partisan manner. So the Congress leaders have urged the Governor to intervene and order a probe by the CBI.

Further, the Congress leaders demanded payment of ₹ 50 lakh as compensation to the family of Rangaiah and stern action against those involved in the incident. They said there were at least 10 lock-up deaths across the State after formation of Telangana.

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