NIA official tortured my nephew in custody, says ex-police officer

Police not registering FIR, he says. Inquiry ordered, says federal probe agency

March 27, 2021 04:05 pm | Updated 04:43 pm IST - NEW DELHI

A 31-year-old man was allegedly tortured by an officer of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in Jammu on Friday, his family has claimed. The federal anti-terror probe agency ordered an inquiry on Saturday.

Yugraj Singh, who works for a food delivery app, was called by the NIA for questioning in a narco-terror case on Friday. It is alleged that Mr. Singh was beaten in NIA’s custody and was later admitted in a government hospital in Jammu.

Sewak Singh, maternal uncle of the victim and a retired police officer, claimed that his nephew was abused by the NIA officials for wearing a kirpan (sword).

“He is my sister’s son and is an amritdhaari (baptised). He wears a kirpan as it is part of the religious attire of the Sikhs. The NIA officer asked why he was wearing a long kirpan . When he replied that it was a religious symbol, the officer abused his mother and thrashed him. What is his crime that he has a long beard?” Mr. Singh told The Hindu .

The family released a video of Mr. Singh from the hospital which showed severe injuries on his back, legs and hands. “His father is paralysed for the past four years. He is the one who takes care of his parents. We do not know why he was called for questioning. If he was involved in any crime, why was he released after being tortured?” he said.

Mr. Singh alleged that they had submitted a complaint but the police were not registering FIR. “They are saying the officer has been suspended and transferred to Nagaland. We want that a case be registered against him,” Mr. Singh said.

He said his nephew was called by the NIA for questioning a few days ago also. “He was released after being questioned the first time. He was called again on Friday at 10 a.m. and mercilessly thrashed by the NIA official,” he said.

An NIA official said stern action will be taken if the allegations are found true.

Checkpal Sehrawat, the DSP rank officer, who has been accused of custodial torture, was posted to Jammu last year.

When contacted, the officer said, “ I do not want to talk about the case. I am working on some other case.”

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