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Torture cry spurs gherao

A group of residents gheraoed Bistupur police station on Sunday to protest the detention and alleged torture of a woman in lock-up.

Around 50 protesters — mostly living in outhouses of posh bungalows in Northern Town Area — demanded Bistupur thana officer-in-charge (OC) Jitendra Kumar be suspended for his alleged high-handedness related to the way a maid servant was treated.

Domestic help Lakshmi and her husband Nimai Das were taken for grilling on Saturday after their employer Sunil Kumar, head of emergency ward (casualty) at Tata Main Hospital (TMH), lodged a theft FIR on Thursday.

Sources said after grilling the two for hours, police had forwarded Nimai to judicial custody and allowed Lakshmi to go home. But Lakshmi, who worked as a maid in the complainant’s house, alleged police had tortured her in lock-up during interrogation.

The agitated mob, which gathered around 10am, dispersed after three hours when SP (city) Karthik S. intervened and asked the deputy superintendent of police (DSP) J. Karketta to probe into the allegation.

Karthik added that as it was a serious matter, he ordered DSP Karketta to start the probe as early as possible.

According to complainant Kumar, gold ornaments worth over Rs 15 lakh were stolen from his home on Thursday when he and his wife left Lakshmi in charge and went out.

Kumar said he and his wife found both the ornaments and the domestic help missing on their return. Apparently, the couple had kept ornaments inside a steel almirah and left the key on a table.

Later, when Kumar questioned Lakshmi, she claimed she knew nothing and said she had gone to a temple.

“The doctor then lodged a complaint with Bistupur police after which Nimai and Lakshmi were picked up for interrogation. While Nimai had been forwarded to judicial custody, Lakshmi was set free. She later complained that the police had tortured her in the lock-up. She added they were innocent,” SP (city) Karthik said.


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