Court orders probe into custodial torture; Viswa Hindu Parishad threatens agitation

SILCHAR: Cachar’s Chief Judicial Magistrate R Rajak had ordered a DIG level probe into the allegation of custodial torture on five Bajrang Dal cadres. Families of these cadres, who were arrested on February 23 for allegedly attacking a Muslim family, accused seven police personnel of Silchar Sadar thana in their affidavit submitted to the CJM. The accused policemen were Jyoti Prokash Handique, OC, Pranab Doley, TSI, Sahabuddin Chowdhury, SI, Rahim Barbhuiyan, SI, Mukut Talukdar, SI, Prasanna Sutradhar (Riding squad) and Monmanjay Tripura (driver of OC).

Meanwhile, Viswa Hindu Parishad in an emergent meeting on Thursday night had decided to bring out a protest rally on April 4 in Silchar demanding justice to five cadres of Bajrang Dal. On February 23, Rabijul Ali Barbhuiyan, a retired teacher and his family were attacked by a group of youths who even vandalized the car in which the family was travelling. The youths were returning from a rally of Bajrang Dal protesting the murder of Harsha Hindu, a Bajrang leader in Karnataka.

Silchar police at midnight arrested five accused from their respective homes. On the following day, they were sent to judicial custody. A team of advocates while visiting Silchar central jail to meet the five accused found that they were badly beaten. Their bodies bore clear signs of torture. The advocates approached the CJM and a medical board was formed to probe into the allegation of custodial torture.

The medical board report indicated the signs and scars on the bodies of the five undertrials were fresh. The CJM had then ordered an inquiry on how these undertrials got injured. On March 16, Chitta Ranjan Bora, the investing officer submitted a report which clarified that the youths were injured during the scuffle they had with the teacher’s family. The family members of the five youths in their affidavit pointed out that the first medical report, submitted at the time of producing the Bajrang cadres did not have any mention of injury. They further pointed finger at Dr. Pavel Sikdar, the doctor who examined the accused at Silchar Civil Hospital.

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