Police brutality on woman and son alleged

Mahim Pratap Singh

BHOPAL: The Mahila Congress of Madhya Pradesh and women’s rights groups here have alleged police brutality on a woman and her son.

Sushila Bai (40) and Deepu (12), picked up from a slum by the police in an alleged theft case, were beaten up inhumanly in the lockup, according to these groups. The woman was allegedly sexually abused.

The two were apprehended at 8 p.m. on Wednesday last when the daughter of a personal assistant to a senior Congress leader reported the loss of her wallet from the New Market area.

Deepu and Sushila, who were taken in the case, were kept in custody at the T.T. Nagar police station for six hours and allegedly tortured.

Sushila was allegedly threatened with rape and more violence by the Thana In charge Umesh Tiwari and others if she did not return the Rs. 20,000 that was reportedly lost.

The slum residents, on hearing the matter, collected some money and gave it to the police upon which the two were released at 3 a.m. on Thursday. On learning of the alleged torture, the residents gheraoed the police station in the morning. After this, Sushila was arrested again and booked for theft.

“It is a clear case of human and child rights violation and illegal detention. The woman and the child were subjected to intense torture by the police,” said president of the Madhya Pradesh Mahila Congress Shobha Ojha.

“Not only was she picked up at night, which is strongly objectionable, they willingly delayed presenting her before a magistrate,” she said.

A complaint has been filed with the State Human Rights Commission. The police also reportedly threatened the women activists present during the medical examination of the woman.

“It is correct that the woman and child were illegally detained and brutally beaten up. The police also tried to influence the HRC investigation by tampering with the medical reports,” said a high-ranking investigating officer in the Human Rights Commission on condition of anonymity.

The Police Department has refuted the allegations. “The officials were just doing their duty and the people in question were at fault,” said Bhopal Superintendent of Police Jaideep Prasad.

Questions have been raised as to why Sushila was let off late on Wednesday night and arrested again the very next day.

She was finally released on bail late on Friday evening, while Deepu was sent to a juvenile home.