Visakhapatnam

Custodial death case gets murkier as documents surface

K. Padma of Mahila Chetana addressing the media in Visakhapatnam on Sunday, as V.S. Krishna of HRF and T. Sreeramurthy of the APCLC look on.

K. Padma of Mahila Chetana addressing the media in Visakhapatnam on Sunday, as V.S. Krishna of HRF and T. Sreeramurthy of the APCLC look on.  

Death certificate issued by private hospital and burial ground report raise suspicions, say rights organisations; demand inquiry by CBI

Even as the alleged custodial death of habitual offender Gorle Pydiraju at the Central Crime Station (CCS) on September 11 is still shrouded in the mystery, the case has got murkier with a death certificate issued by a private hospital and a report from a GVMC burial ground surfacing.

The death certificate and the burial ground report suggest that Pydiraju had died of a cardiac arrest in the wee hours of September 11 and was cremated at Chavulamadum crematorium, said a group of human rights organisations led by Human Rights Forum (HRF), Mahila Chetana and AP Civil Liberties Committee, here on Sunday, while releasing the documents before the media.

However, they said that the veracity of the documents was yet to be ascertained.

The rights groups which are all set to file a writ petition in the Hyderabad High Court on Monday has demanded that the government must order an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the alleged custodial death.

After the incident came to light, the police authorities ordered a probe by a team led by Joint Commissioner of Police D. Nagendra Kumar and the investigating team has claimed that the body of Pydiraju is yet to be found and the whereabouts of his wife Yerni Kumari is also unknown.

The local police also claim that Pydiraju, who came out of the jail recently after serving a five-year term for a series of house breaking offences, was picked up by a night patrol team while moving suspiciously on September 10 and let off the next day.

‘Bid to shield cops’

However, the rights bodies said that the case was not free from suspicious.

“The probe ordered by the police is a whitewash and it appears to be a move to shield the police officers involved in the case. Pydiraju might have been subjected to torture at the CCS, resulting in his death and his body might have been cremated in a huff,” V.S. Krishna of HRF told the media here.

The police appear to be more concerned about shielding the officers concerned rather than bringing those responsible to justice.

“The Police Commissioner should act transparently and ensure that the case is transferred to the CBI. The officers at CCS should be suspended immediately,” Mr. Krishna said.

K. Padma of Mahila Chetana and T. Sreeramurthy of APCLC said that the officers at CCS should be booked under the relevant sections for custodial death and sections under the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocity Act, as Pydiraju was a Dalit.

“So far Yerni Kumari and the family members Pydiraju, who live in Vizianagaram, have not been traced and this raises the doubt that something is fishy,” said Ms. Padma.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 2:00:10 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Visakhapatnam/custodial-death-case-gets-murkier-as-documents-surface/article24963327.ece

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