Published On: Fri, Feb 28th, 2020

Barmer SP removed over custodial death of Dalit man

Jaipur: Barmer Superintendent of Police Sharad Chowdhary and a circle officer were removed from their posts over the custodial death of a 25-year-old Dalit man, the Rajasthan Assembly was told on Friday.

Barmer SP Sharad Chowdhary was today removed over custodial death of dalit scrap dealer Jeetu Khateek.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Shanti Dhariwal informed the House during the Zero Hour that no case was registered against scrap dealer Jeetu Khateek, who was detained by the police on Wednesday evening over suspicions that he was involved in a theft.

Khateek”s family has alleged he was taken into illegal custody and beaten to death.

Dhariwal said the SHO was suspended and other personnel were removed from the police station and a judicial inquiry was ordered. He added that the ADG, Civil Rights, and the IG of Jodhpur have reached Barmer.

An inquiry was also being conducted by an Additional SP, CID-CB.

Giving a statement in the Assembly, Dhariwal said the police picked up Khateek, acting on information that some stolen pipes were unloaded at his shop.

He was kept at the police station on Wednesday night and taken to the district hospital the next day after he complained of chest pain. “He was taken to the hospital at around 2 pm on Thursday and doctors declared him dead that time only,” Dhariwal said.

The minister said the state government has put the Barmer SP under APO (awaiting posting orders) status and the police headquarters removed the Barmer circle officer.

“The action against them was taken because the victim was kept at the police station without any FIR. A case under sections 302 (murder) of the IPC and sections of the SC/ST Act was also registered and appropriate action will be taken,” he said.

Dhariwal also informed the House that an autopsy could not be conducted as the family members were staging a protest and demanding a compensation, a government job to one family member and strict action against the accused policemen.

The opposition BJP demanded a compensation of Rs 1 crore to the family. Leader of Opposition Gulab Chand Kataria said the government should announce a package so that the victim”s family can survive.

Other BJP MLAs also spoke on the matter but speaker C P Joshi did not allow them, leading to an uproar in the House. They legislators stormed the Well and protested for a few minutes before returning to their seats.

The speaker asked the minister whether the government had plans to introduce a law or a proposal to give a package on humanitarian grounds to the families of custodial death victims.

In his reply, the minister said the government gave compensation and took other measure based on the circumstances of a case.

This was followed by heated arguments between the leader of opposition and the parliamentary affairs minister. The speaker intervened and closed the debate.


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