Lucknow: Taking suo motu cognizance of media reports that said a 30-year-old Dalit man had died in police custody in Uttar Pradesh’s Amroha district on Wednesday, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Friday issued notice to Yogi Adityanath-led government in the state.
The deceased, identified as Balkrishna, was a Dalit and belonged to Basi Sherpura village in Amroha's Dhanora area. His family members have alleged that the police personnel from Dhanora Mandi Police Station asked for a bribe of Rs 5 lakh to let him off and tortured him when he could not arrange the sum.
“My husband had left house on Sunday at 10am and said that he was going for duty to Moradabad. Almost 12 hours later, a local informed me that my husband has been arrested for car theft,” said Kunta, the deceased’s wife.
Balkrishna used to drive a white Maruti Eco car which he had purchased from Delhi last year and this car was reportedly the only source of income for the family.
His sister-in-law of Guddi said the policemen in-charge first demanded two lakh to free him and later increased the amount. “They raised the demand to five lakh and refused to release him even after we gave them 80,000 rupees. I met him last time on Tuesday at 4pm. On Wednesday morning, we were informed by the police that Balkrishna wasn’t well and was being taken to a district hospital in Amroha.”
In its notice to the UP government, the NHRC observed that the contents of media reports, if true, amount to gross violation of human rights of the victim. The notice has been issued to the chief secretary and the director-general of police and Uttar Pradesh government, and they have been asked to submit a detailed report in the matter within four weeks, along with explanation as to why intimation with regard to this death in police custody was not given to the NHRC.
As per the NHRC notice, the report should also indicate whether any monetary and other relief has been provided to the family in accordance with the SC/ST (POA) Act and Rules.
“The post-mortem report will be examined by the police on Friday. It will also be considered as evidence in the investigation. We are investigating all angles, including the bribe allegations; we will also be seeking details about what exactly led to the arrest of the deceased,” said Brijesh Singh, Additional SP.