Delhi Police have named four police personnel in an FIR in a murder case, filed over a year after a 25-year-old man died in police custody at Northeast Delhi’s Nand Nagri police station. The FIR was registered after a magisterial enquiry found that the man died of a head injury, caused “possibly by blunt force impact”.
On June 6 last year, Govinda Yadav was arrested for picking up illicit liquor along with his accomplice Nayeem (30) from Sunder Nagri. The men were taken to Nand Nagri police station, where Yadav died later that night. At the time, his family had alleged police had beaten him up in custody.
On Monday, a senior police officer told The Indian Express, “We registered a case under sections of murder on Thursday. The role of four policemen who were involved in Yadav’s arrest at the time will be investigated. The case was registered after we found he had sustained a blunt force injury on his head.”
Three policemen — head constable Abhishek and constables Udham Singh and Vishal — were suspended last year. The FIR also mentions assistant sub-inspector Devender, whose alleged role, the officer said, is yet to be ascertained.
It was around 10.30 pm on June 6 last year that Yadav was rushed to GTB hospital after he complained of uneasiness. He was declared dead on arrival. The investigation into his death was undertaken by a Metropolitan Magistrate. At the time, the then Additional DCP (Northeast) R P Meena had told The Indian Express, “We have not found the officers indulging in violence. The MM will look into the matter.”
Yadav’s father, Ram Gulam Yadav (55), had alleged his son’s body bore bruises: “Police must have beaten him up because we weren’t told about the illness and were only called after he died.”
During the inquiry, at first, head constable Abhishek told the magistrate that he “released the deceased (Yadav) to go home and no legal proceedings were conducted against him but he started feeling ill.” Later on, the head constable changed his statement and claimed that “no arrestee was handed over to him on June 6 and he never met Govinda”.
As per the FIR, doctors who did the post-mortem opined that the “cause of death was head injury produced possibly by blunt force impact”. The magistrate also spoke to Nayeem, who said that he was apprehended by the police along with Yadav. “He stated that he was kept separate from Yadav on the first floor and later on he came to know that he was taken to hospital,” said the FIR.
On Monday, Yadav’s father told The Indian Express: “Police tortured my son and asked us to give them Rs 15,000 for his bail. They didn’t let any of us meet him… Later , when Govinda’s sister went to meet him, policemen demanded money… He wasn’t suffering from any disease.”
Yadav’s family said he was a daily wager. His father said, “The lockdown has been difficult; he was the only earning member. We attended a court session in July this year and told the MM about the case — how the policemen harassed us and tried to extort money. We hope justice will be done.”
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