A 24-year-old man, who was detained over the theft of a mobile phone and allegedly beaten up by two constables, jumped off the third floor of Ambedkar Nagar police station on Monday. The man, identified as Pankaj Goel, runs a general store in Dakshin Puri, around 300 meters from the police station.
Pankaj’s family members claimed that he had bought the mobile phone from a neighbour and the police wanted to implicate him in a fake case. The Delhi Police have launched an internal probe into the incident and the two constables have been suspended on the grounds of dereliction of duty.
Pankaj was reportedly called for “questioning” to the police station on Monday night.
He was taken to a room on the third floor of the police station, where the two constables — identified as Rajkumar and Sonu — allegedly started beating him up. Pankaj claimed that the two policemen threatened to continue the beating through the night. To escape the assault, he decided to jump out of the window.
In a 51-second video doing the rounds on social media Tuesday, Pankaj said that he decided to jump as he had lost all hope. “They took me to a room on the third floor and hit me thrice with a rod. Rajkumar was talking on the phone… they said they will keep beating me. I felt hopeless and I decided to jump,” Pankaj said in the video.
His family members claimed that the policemen had summoned him to the station after accusing him of abusing a caller.
“My brother received a call from an unknown number at 8.30 pm on Monday. The caller said that he was a courier boy and he had a delivery for Pankaj. He asked my brother to come to the local Mother Dairy to collect the package,” said Pankaj’s elder brother Amit.
“He kept on calling my brother… finally, Pankaj asked him to come to the shop to hand over the package,” said Amit. “Minutes later, constable Rajkumar called him from the police station and accused him of abusing the caller. He was asked to go to the police station,” added Amit.
“Pankaj went to the police station along with his mother Santosh. The two constables asked her to wait outside and took Pankaj inside,” said his uncle Sudesh. “By the time Amit reached the police station after half-an-hour, he was informed that his brother had fallen off the third floor and was severely injured. The police rushed him to the AIIMS Trauma Centre”.
Pankaj suffered two vertebral fractures and also injured both his legs. He will have to undergo a surgery on Wednesday, said his family members.
“My brother had told me that constables Rajkumar and Sonu used to harass him, as our mother had refused to give them any money on Diwali. Since then, they had been looking for an opportunity to get back at my brother or me,” said Amit.
Pankaj’s family members claimed that he had bought the mobile phone for Rs 4,000 from a person who lived in their neighbourhood. “He had been using that phone and he wanted to sell it as he needed money. I don’t know if the mobile phone was stolen,” said Amit.
“The police should have called him for questioning…why did they call my brother,” asked Amit.
An internal inquiry has been ordered into the incident, said Deputy Commissioner of Police (southeast) Mandeep Singh Randhawa.
“Primarily… the two constables got an input about the mobile theft and to verify that, they called Pankaj for questioning, but we are verifying the chain of events,” he said.
The two constables had stepped out to get some food when Pankaj jumped from the window, said Randhawa.
“The two constables were suspended with immediate effect… each and every aspect of the incident will be investigated in the inquiry,” added Randhawa.
To mark their protest, local shopkeepers downed shutters Tuesday and demanded action against the policemen.