BHUBANESWAR: Pushed to the wall for its utter insensitivity, the Commissionerate of Police on Saturday suspended an ASI of Nayapalli Police Station in an attempt to cover its gross negligence in dealing with case of Ishak Digal who died and was cremated unidentified despite his parents filing a missing report.
With the Odisha Human Rights Commission admitting a petition filed by the aggrieved parents of Ishak on Saturday, the Twin City Police found a scapegoat in diary charge officer NC Swain who was placed under suspension while Inspector In Charge Suryamani Pradhan was slapped a showcause notice. Pradhan has been asked to explain why he should not be suspended for dereliction of duty in such a sensitive case.
Even as public outrage grew over the manner in which police handled the case, more skeletons continued to tumble out of the cupboard of Nayapalli PS. Bizarre as it may sound, Nayapalli Police actually registered the missing persons case to trace Ishak on June 8, a day after the minor boy died at SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack.
That is not all. A day before the case was formally registered here, Mangalabag Police in Cuttack had issued a message to all police stations and SPs informing death of a boy at SCB Medical College. It was ignored too. Had Nayapalli Police paid heed, Ishak’s body would not have been treated as unclaimed and cremated denying his family their religious rights.
On June 5, Ishak Digal left home and did not return. In the intervening night of June 5 and 6, he was hit by a vehicle and suffered serious head injuries. A PCR van took him to Capital Hospital which shifted the boy to Cuttack as his condition deteriorated.Next morning, his father Pabitra Digal went to Nayapalli Police Station to report his missing son. However, he was sent away by police which asked him to “look for his son on his own”. The family was clueless about how to trace their child who was, at that time, in need of serious medical attention at SCB Medical College.
The 14-year-old died on the verandah of the Neurosurgery Ward during early hours on June 7, the hospital report said.Unaware of the plight of their son, the hapless family approached Bhubaneswar DCP Satyabrata Bhoi on June 8 and he asked Nayapalli Police to register the case and probe. The local police station registered the case but did not act. “We were told that police have much more work than entertaining complaints from Salia Sahi,” said 34-year-old Pabitra who had moved to Bhubaneswar after the 2008 communal riots in Kandhamal district. He works as a salesman in an air-conditioner showroom in the City.
For next seven days, the Digal family had no information about their son. On June 15, Pabitra received a call from an anonymous person who asked him to rush to SCB Medical College where his son was under treatment. After rushing from pillar to post, Ishak’s family reached Mangalabag Police Station which broke the tragic news to them. However, more grief was in the waiting as they were informed that Ishak had been cremated 72 hours after his death following the norms of an unclaimed body. “We did not even get the opportunity to bury our son as per Christian rites,” said a sobbing Pabitra.