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Barmer Dalit custodial death: ‘I could hear my brother screaming … when we went in, he was lying there, dead’

Khatik’s brother Dharmendra has stated in the complaint that Khatik told him about the torture when he went to the police station on Thursday morning.

Written by Deep Mukherjee | Jaipur | Updated: February 29, 2020 7:25:07 am
Barmer Dalit custodial death, dalit custodial death rajasthan, barmer man dies in police custody, rajasthan dalits, jaipur news Following the incident, Deep Singh, SHO of the police station, was suspended and Barmer SP Sharad Chowdhary sent the entire staff of the police station to the police lines. (Representational)

The family members of Jitendra Khatik, a 26-year-old Dalit man who died in police custody in Rajasthan’s Barmer district Thursday, have said in their complaint that they could hear Khatik screaming inside the police station.

Khatik’s brother Dharmendra has stated in the complaint that Khatik told him about the torture when he went to the police station on Thursday morning.

“My brother was crying and told me, ‘Throughout the night I have been inhumanly beaten and tortured by the police station in-charge and the staff…If you don’t get me released, the policemen will kill me’. By then a policeman came and took me out,” reads the FIR filed on the basis of the complaint by Dharmendra.

Dharmendra has stated that shortly after this, as he along with his father and brother were sitting outside the police station, they could hear Khatik screaming.

“We three were sitting outside the police station when we could hear Jitendra screaming from inside. We were sitting there, worried. After some time a policeman came and told us that Jitendra has fallen ill and told us to come inside. When we went in, we saw Jitendra in another room…he was lying on the floor, the police had beaten him to death in illegal custody,” states the FIR. The police then took Khatik to the hospital where he was declared dead, it adds.

Following the incident, Deep Singh, SHO of the police station, was suspended and Barmer SP Sharad Chowdhary sent the entire staff of the police station to the police lines. The SHO and other police personnel were booked for murder. Later on Thursday night, the state government removed Chowdhary as SP and he was put under awaiting posting orders. A circle officer was also removed.

The FIR has been registered under sections 302 (murder), 342 (punishment for wrongful confinement), 143 (unlawful assembly) of the IPC along with sections of the SC/ST (prevention of atrocities) Act. Till Friday evening, the family of Khatik had not taken his body. They have demanded immediate arrest of the accused, compensation of Rs 1 crore and a government job.

“The post-mortem couldn’t be done yet as the family members are not letting it happen unless their demands are fulfilled. Talks are on with them. The case is being investigated by an additional SP of the CID-CB,” said Barmer Addl SP Khinv Singh.

Khatik’s brother Champalal said that they won’t take back the body till all their demands are fulfilled by the government.

Dalit rights activists have demanded strict action against the accused in the case.

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