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Woman in jail for ‘no crime’

Forget about police’s tall talk about modern-day scientific investigation of crimes.

Men-in-uniform in the state capital prefer to slap charges fearing public outcry and on the basis of frivolous pieces of evidence.

Seventy-year-old widow Kamla was arrested on the charge of kidnapping 11-year-old Rahul Kumar, allegedly for ransom, from Patna City’s Alamganj locality on January 28 this year. The arrest was made fearing a public outcry after a label, allegedly from Rahul’s shoes, was found in her house. She has been languishing in Beur Central Jail for over four months for a crime she never committed.

The police action against Kamla followed a complaint lodged by Rahul’s father Babloo Sao who alleged that the plastic label of his son’s shoes was found in Kamla’s house. Rahul’s enraged relatives brutally assaulted Kamla before turning her over to the police.

Kamla fell sick and was admitted to the jail hospital a few days after being lodged in the jail. Her relative, who went to the Patna senior superintendent of police (SSP)’s weekly janata durbar on June 5, said Kamla was not being released in spite of Rahul’s statement before the court that he had never been kidnapped.

According to Kamla’s relative, who preferred anonymity as he is a public servant, Class VI student Rahul had disappeared from his house on January 24 this year and returned home safely on May 23. His statement was recorded on May 26 before a judicial magistrate in Patna City court under Section 164 of the CrPC in which he denied having been kidnapped. He told the police that he had fled the house, as he hated studies and going to school regularly. “My parents used to pressurise me to study, which I hated. So I left home,” the boy reportedly told the court.

Kamla’s relative claimed that he met senior police officers and narrated the tale. “She is sick and may collapse in prison any day. Even local police officers admit in private that an innocent person had been booked on the charge of kidnapping. But nobody is ready to step forward to ensure justice for Kamla,” he said.

Deputy superintendent of police (Patna City) Rajesh Kumar said Kamla would get justice. “Our purpose is not to harass anybody on the pretext of investigation. But at times one has to take decisions and book the suspects owing to public outcry,” he said.

The officer said Rahul’s relatives had virtually laid siege to the police station and demanded Kamla’s arrest. “Since the case involved a minor, we decided to send Kamla to jail. Moreover, Rahul’s relatives were adamant on her arrest,” he added. Babloo Sao said: “It’s up to the police to decide whether to release the woman or prosecute her. My son has already recorded his statement in the court.” He, however, defended his action and said he had accused Kamla as her role was suspicious.


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