Dhanbad/Bokaro, Nov. 18: The father of Dhirendra Singh, who died yesterday in police custody, has alleged that three police officers tortured his son during questioning, the direct accusation weakening the case of Dhanbad police whose FIR on the detention of the suspected Maoist is full of discrepancies.
Accompanied by three MLAs — Samresh Singh (Bokaro), Arup Chatterjee (Nirsa) and Phul Chand Mandal (Sindri) — Sunder Singh went to the Dhanbad sadar police station yesterday to file his complaint in which he said Barwaddah police station officer in charge Sahdev Prasad, Nirsa DSP Shailendra Burnwal and Bhuli police station officer in charge Harish Pathak killed Dhirendra after repeatedly assaulting him during interrogation in police custody.
The sadar police, however, are yet to register a case on the basis of Sunders complaint.
Dhanbad police today clarified that Dhirendra (30) was indeed arrested and not detained, a turnaround that was surprising since several police officers, including Prasad, had been insisting for the last two days that he was detained for questioning regarding Maoist literature he was carrying.
According to the FIR registered at Barwaddah police station, a copy of which is with The Telegraph, Dhirendra was arrested under Section 414 of IPC and Section 17 Criminal Law Amendment Act (CLA) for carrying Maoist posters and possessing a stolen motorcycle.
The FIR claimed he was picked up from Memco More during a routine vehicle inspection drive and arrested at Barwaddah, while the police have been claiming he was first detained at sadar police station.
Most importantly, the FIR claimed Dhirendra had confessed he was going towards Tundi to distribute and paste the Maoist posters calling for a panchayat poll boycott.
IG (coal belt) Manoj Mishra defended the police saying Dhirendra was carrying Maoist literature which was a cognisable offence.
Moreover, as per my knowledge, preliminary findings of the post-mortem do not reveal any external or internal injuries on him, he added.
Earlier, talking to The Telegraph at his Birni Manpur home in Bokaro, Dhirendras father Sunder said they would be going to Dhanbad tomorrow to collect his sons body and hold a funeral.
The body of my son bore injury marks, suggesting that he died due to torture, Sunder alleged, seeking a CBI inquiry to unravel the truth. His elder son and Dhirendras brother Lalman said mere compensation would not do. We want justice, the guilty policemen must be punished, he said.
In Ranchi, before leaving for Delhi, chief minister Arjun Munda said he had sought reports on the case from the home department. Munda added that the guilty would not be spared.