A labourer who did not know how to drive was not only booked under the cow slaughter act for ferrying cows, but also beaten up in police custody and jail leading to his death, his wife has alleged in a complaint to the Madhya Pradesh Human Rights Commission (MPHRC).
A truck stuffed with cows was seized by the Khargone police near Khurawad village in June 2008. While the driver fled, police arrested Rambabu and booked him under the state’s cow slaughter law, the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, and the Motor Vehicle Act. The MPHRC, in its preliminary probe, found that Rambabu was innocent as he did not know how to drive and that police conspired with truck owner Amin Khan to arrest him.
The commission Friday asked the DGP why an interim relief of Rs 5 lakh be not paid to Madhubai Malviya, Rambabu’s wife, after her husband’s death on November 6, 2013, days after his arrest.
MPHRC joint director Rohit Mehta called for reports connected with the case and found that there were many discrepancies in them. The police submitted the chargesheet in a local court, but Rambabu was declared absconding even though he was allegedly present in his village. His wife said that in November 2013, seven-eight police personnel took away Rambabu from home after beating him up. She was told that a warrant was pending against her husband in connection with an old case of accident.
Madhubai said a few days after the arrest she was got a call from Badwah sub-jail informing her Rambabu was ill. She alleged he was healthy at the time of arrest. The next day she got a call from M Y Hospital, Indore, asking her to collect Rambabu’s body, which she said had injury marks. The commission has issued notices to five officials of the Balwada police station, including then in-charge Sunil Kumar Birthare. Present in-charge Santosh Mishra told The Indian Express that the charges were false as was borne from the magisterial inquiry ordered in the custodial death. He said though Rambabu did not have a licence, he was an assistant driver on the truck but could not provide other details like what happened to the main case.