New Delhi: Days after two Muslim men were allegedly tortured to death in police custody in Bihar, photos and videos of their bodies being circulated by their families show marks of nails being hammered into them.
‘We have filmed videos and have still photographs of the injury marks caused by iron nails being hammered in. The nails were hammered into their thighs, soles and wrists. The legs of both victims were severely injured. We are waiting for the postmortem report for specific details,’ a college student who is helping the two men’s families told the Indian Express .
An FIR has been registered for murder, Indian Express reported, and five policemen have been suspended so far. However, no policeman has been named in the FIR.
‘We suspended five policemen including Chandra Bhushan Singh, the officer-in-charge of Dumra police station, in Sitamarhi. They will also face departmental action. If they do not surrender, they can even face dismissal. We have issued a show-cause notice to Sitamarhi SP who has been transferred,’ Bihar director general of police Gupteshwar Pandey told the newspaper.
Gufran Alam and Taslim Ansari were reportedly picked up by the police on March 6 from Ramdiha village, in connection with a motorcycle theft case.
‘We were all asleep when five police jeeps from the local Chakiya police station stopped at our house and asked for Gufran. They said they wanted to question Gufran in connection with a case. Before we could ask anything, they took him away and later also picked up fellow villager Taslim Ansari,’ Gufran’s father Munnavar Ali told Indian Express.
While Taslim had four pending criminal cases against him and was out on bail, Gufran had no prior record.
Ali and others went to the Chakiya police station around 3 am on March 6, but did not find the arrested men there. ‘We returned home and visited the police station again a few hours later. A local police informer told us about Gufran and Taslim were at Dumra police station. He got Sanawar Ali to speak with Gufran who could barely talk. He said that police had severely beaten him and broken his legs.’
When they got to the police station on March 6 evening, the family was told that the two men were dead and postmortems had been conducted. They were given the bodies only the next day.
This incident has led to widespread protests from opposition parties in Bihar ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. On Saturday, NewsClick reported, after an all-party meeting in Sitamarhi, the opposition demanded a high-level probe by a retired judge.
On March 8, the SHO of the Dumra police station (one of the suspended officers) escaped from police custody.