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Since 1st March, 1999
 
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Cradle snatch slur on cops

Dumka, Feb. 2: Jharkhand police, reeling at the “rape in police custody” scandal in Godda, received another blow here, when a grandfather complained that his three-year-old grandson was “detained in lock-up” for allegedly beating up a woman.

Ramghar police, Rakhal Das wrote to the SP, held the boy and demanded Rs 5,000 for release from lock-up and an equal sum for withdrawing his name from the case.

The family was forced to sell a cow to arrange the money, said the grandfather and the boy’s uncle Manbharan Das. They decided to lodge the complaint when policemen began harassing them for an additional Rs 5,000 to initiate a settlement of a minor dispute and for leaving out the infant’s name from case records.

Ramghar police, around 40 kms from here, had arrested the boy way back in October, along with four others, following a clash between two groups over a land dispute. Police claimed to have received a complaint from one Munna Rajak that his wife, Anita Devi, had been beaten up by Sarju Das, the boy.

While the Dumka SP said he was looking into the complaint, the officer-in-charge of Ramghar PS, Baliram Prasad, said the boy’s age was yet to be ascertained because he did not attend school. A medical examination, therefore, was necessary, he said, to fix the infant’s age.

The grandfather, who has a tea-stall in front of the Block office, has been pleading in vain that the boy lived with him, 6 km away from home and the place where the clash is said to have taken place.

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