VIJAYAWADA: The Human Rights Forum (HRF) has called for a credible investigation into the May 4 custodial death of Madipalli Apparao (36) of Pothunuru Village of Bhimadole Mandal, a farmhand, in the precincts of the Bhimadole police station in Eluru district. The probe must be conducted by an independent agency, it said.
According to Rohit and Rajesh of the HRF, who visited the village and interacted with the kin of the victim and villagers, no inquiry was initiated as of today. According to CrPC 176(1A), a judiciary inquiry should be carried out, not an executive inquiry.
The police version is that Apparao, a habitual offender, was arrested on May 3 night for snatching a chain from a pedestrian. He was kept in the lockup at the police station in Bhimadole. He bolted himself inside the attached toilet sometime around 8:45 in the morning the next day. At about 9 am, the police said, they broke in to find him hanging with a rope he had managed to get inside the police station. He was rushed to the hospital, but did not survive.
“We found the police version of events to be blatantly false. From what we have gathered, it was a clear case of police excess. He was arrested on April 29 and was kept in illegal custody for four days. In the meanwhile, he was beaten up, which resulted in injuries to his head. His parents were informed on May 4 when he was being taken to the Eluru Government Hospital, where he was declared dead,” they said.
There are a number of inconsistencies and contradictions in the police narrative. These doubts can only be clarified and the truth determined only if there is an investigation by an agency that is not part of the district police apparatus, they added. The family of Apparao should be compensated substantively. This would be in accordance with judgments of the Supreme Court in respect of custodial deaths, they stressed.
‘NO CCTV cameras in police stations’
The HRF said that there were no CCTVs cameras at the Bhimadole police station. And this is the case across all police stations in the State. This is against the judgement of the Supreme Court.