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The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Torture slur on police

A 20-year-old youth was admitted to the intensive care unit of Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH) in a critical condition on Friday evening, almost 24 hours after he was allegedly physically tortured in the official residence of Sheikhpura superintendent of police (SP) Babu Ram on Thursday night.

The injured youth, Mukesh Kumar alias Chhotu, was allegedly picked up from Barbigha police station area on Thursday with his brother-in-law Rajeev Kumar. Both were brought to the Barbigha police station and subsequently taken to the Sheikhpura SP’s official residence for interrogation, said the victim’s maternal uncle Dheeraj Kumar.

After Mukesh’s kin complained to director-general of police Abhayanand, he ordered a probe into the allegation of torture in police custody.

Sheikhpura SP Babu Ram said he recorded the statement of Mukesh and his parents on the instruction of the state police chief. “The victim did not corroborate the allegations against the police,” the SP told The Telegraph over phone from Sheikhpura.

He said there was neither any sign of external injury on the victim nor evidence of torture. “We are waiting for the medical report,” he said.

Dheeraj claimed that two policemen who had picked up the duo from Barbigha applied third degree on Mukesh at the SP’s residence, damaging his intestine. When the victim complained of severe pain in his abdomen, he was rushed to the Sheikhpura Sadar hospital, from where he was referred to PMCH. His brother-in-law was sent to jail the same day.

Reaching Patna from Delhi on Sunday after receiving information about the development, Dheeraj told The Telegraph on the PMCH premises that Mukesh was operated upon but his condition was still serious. The youth is undergoing treatment under the supervision of Dr A.B. Singh, he said.

Superintendent of Patna Medical College and Hospital Dr O.P. Choudhary refused to comment on the condition of Mukesh. But a senior doctor of the hospital said he had suffered injuries in large intestine.

Dheeraj said Mukesh was tortured at the behest of Mantu Singh, a liquor trader. “Mukesh worked in Mantu’s shop. After quitting about two months ago, he demanded Mantu to clear his dues. But Mantu refused,” he said.