Bihar Human Rights Commission has directed the government to pay a compensation of Rs 2 lakh to the family of a youth who died in custody last year.
Twenty-eight-year-old Rudal Rajak, an undertrial lodged at Beur Central Jail, died at Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH) on June 17 last year, three days after he was arrested in a robbery case. Rudal was allegedly tortured during interrogation.
Bihar Human Rights Commission Justice chairperson (retd) S.N. Jha issued the order on Friday, asking the principal secretary of the home department to comply with its order within six weeks. The panel passed the order after taking suo motu cognisance of reports of Rudal’s death in judicial custody in newspapers and subsequent registration of an FIR against the then station house officer of Patrakar Nagar police station, the assistant jailor of Beur Central Jail and four other prison officials.
“The government may recover the amount from the salary of the officials concerned in accordance with the law,” said Justice Jha.
A team led by then Patrakar Nagar station house officer Sanjay Kumar Thakur had arrested Rudal on June 14, 2011, in a robbery case. When his condition deteriorated after being allegedly tortured during interrogation, Rudal was rushed to the Rajendra Nagar Government Hospital. After treatment, he was produced before the Patna chief judicial magistrate the same day. He was remanded to judicial custody for two weeks at Beur jail.
A report submitted to the commission by the medical officer (in-charge) of Beur jail revealed that the doctor on duty had found injury marks on Rudal’s body at the time of his admission to the prisoners’ ward. The custody warrant carried a “physical fitness report” and an “injury report”. A health screening conducted on June 15 by the jail doctor, J.B Singh, also found injuries on his body. On June 17, Rudal was sent to the PMCH for better treatment following the recommendations of the jail medical officer (in-charge).
The doctor who conducted the post-mortem found multiple abrasions on Rudal’s right chest, posterior-lateral surface of right chest and buttocks. Bruises were also found on the right shoulder and right side of his chest. The doctor said the injuries could have been caused because he was dragged on hard and rough surface and hit hard by some blunt objects, the commission’s report said.
Justice Jha said: “The commission is of the view that Rajak died of assault by the police officers and also, may be, by the jail officials.”