Other States

Custodial death: FIR against nine policemen

The Gujarat HC on Friday directed the administration to file an FIR and ordered a CID probe over the alleged custodial death of 32-year-old Shwetang Patel.

After the Gujarat High ordered a CID probe, nine policemen including two inspectors and a sub-inspector have been booked for the alleged custodial death of a 32-year-old man detained during Patel quota agitation.

Hardik Patel, who is leading the agitation by Patel community for reservation under OBC quota, today said he is likely to attend funeral of the victim, Swetang Patel, tomorrow and warned that government will be held responsible “if anything happens”.

Assistant Commissioner of Police K D Pandya said police inspectors P D Parmar and R R Vasava of Bapunagar were among nine policemen booked in the Swetang Patel death case.

“We had late last night registered an FIR in Swetang Patel’s death case against two police inspectors of Bapunagar, one D-staff PSI and six other policemen of D-staff for causing death,” Pandya told PTI.

D-staff or detection staff is responsible for conducting investigations in cases filed with a police station.

However, advocate for the victim’s family B M Mangukia claimed that the FIR did not have names of all the police officials responsible for the alleged custodial death.

“We had demanded that all those responsible be named, but they (police) did not register an FIR as per our demand and left out many high ranking officials, including ACP. We do not want to make lower ranked policemen a scapegoat in the case,” Mangukia said.

“We sat in the police station for about five hours to register an FIR.... This is non-compliance of the high court order and a contempt of court as well,” Mangukia added.

Swetang was allegedly forcibly taken away by police on August 25. A plea was moved by Prabhaben Patel, Swetang’s mother, which said he was allegedly beaten by the police and ultimately he succumbed to the injuries. The Gujarat High had ordered a second autopsy of the body which stated that he had died due to severe head injury.

Observing that prima facie it was a case of homicide, the HC yesterday directed the administration to file an FIR and also ordered a CID probe.

Top developments:

1 “As no violence was reported in the state, curfew has been lifted from all the parts of the State, where it was clamped on August 25,” Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order), P.P. Pandey told PTI.
2 In Ahmedabad, curfew has been lifted from all the nine police station areas as the situation remained completely peaceful for around two days, officials said.
3 Heavy deployment of paramilitary forces continued in all the areas hit by violence that had began from August 25 after Hardik Patel was detained by the city police.
4 The Gujarat High Court on Friday told the State government that restoration of peace should be on high priority.
5 The State government submitted that it proposes to take action action against the errant officers. The court then directed the state to report to the court what action it plans to take on September 3, next date of hearing.
6 Hardik Patel threatened to intensify the agitation and decided to rope in Gujjars for support.
7 “I am heading towards Delhi to meet the leaders of the Gurjar agitation to take their help to intensify our agitation in Gujarat,” Hardik Patel said.
8 The 22-year-old said his sole objective is the inclusion of Patel community in the OBC category and not the abolition of the quota system but ruled out negotiations on the issue.
9 Hardik Patel has warned the BJP that “lotus would not bloom” in the next Assembly elections if their demand is not met.
10 BJP president Amit Shah will be in Ahmedabad on Saturday for the first time after the big rally held by those agitating for Patidar reservation and the police crackdown which led to the death of 10 people.

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Printable version | Jul 2, 2020 12:42:42 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/custodial-death-fir-against-9-policemen/article7593963.ece

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