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Panel prod on juvenile death

The Bihar State Human Rights Commission on Tuesday took suo motu cognisance of the mysterious death of a teenager lodged in the Muzaffarpur juvenile home, seeking a detailed report on the Sunday’s incident from the district magistrate and the senior superintendent of police.

The rights commission member, Neel Mani, said: “The district magistrate and the senior superintendent of police of Muzaffarpur have been asked to submit a detailed report to the commission by September 5. Their joint probe would cover administrative lapses, criminal liabilities and action taken so far among other things.”¯

The commission has also asked the director of the social welfare department to send a separate report to the panel by September 5. The director has been told to inquire whether the guidelines with regard to medical check-up of the inmates on their transfer from one place to another were followed by the Muzaffarpur juvenile home authorities or not, Neel Mani added.

The superintendent of Muzaffarpur juvenile home, Dharmendra Kumar, has been put under suspension for dereliction of duty. Muzaffarpur district magistrate (DM) Anupam Kumar on Monday had ordered a magisterial inquiry into the death of Rupesh Kumar, a resident of Rohtas district, who was shifted to Muzaffarpur from the Gaya juvenile home on August 10.

The suspension of Dharmendra came in the wake of the visit of welfare minister Lesi Singh to Shri Krishna Medical College and Hospital on Monday. The minister asked the DM to initiate departmental proceedings against the superintendent. Lesi met the relatives of the victim and promised to conduct a fair investigation into Rupesh’s death.

Muzaffarpur (town) deputy superintendent of police Anil Kumar Singh said an FIR was lodged with the Town police station on the statement of the victim’s father Kamlesh Singh, who alleged that his son was killed by the fellow inmates. The hapless father also blamed the juvenile home officials’ callous attitude for his son’s death.

Kamlesh, a resident of Nawagarh village in Rohtas, alleged that he was not informed by the Gaya juvenile home about the transfer of his son to Muzaffarpur on August 10. “The superintendents of the juvenile homes at Bhojpur, Gaya and Muzaffarpur are equally responsible for the incident,” Kamlesh said, adding that Rupesh was initially lodged at the Bhojpur remand home after his arrest in 2010 in connection with a train dacoity.

“I want justice and nothing else. Those found guilty of the murder of my son in the judicial custody should be punished,” Kamlesh, the father of Rupesh, said before he left for Rohtas.

A five-member medical board conducted the post-mortem and the entire process was recorded. “The body of Rupesh was handed over to his family after the post-mortem,” said assistant social security director N.K. Singh.