Representational image of custodial torture.
Representational image of custodial torture.(Express Illustrations)

Odisha: Burla tribal man alleges torture in police custody

The matter came to light after the victim’s mother moved the District Welfare Office with a written complaint demanding action against the police.

SAMBALPUR: A 30-year-old tribal man from Sahaj bahal within Chiplima police outpost in Burla has alleged he was detained and tortured in police custody on suspicion of tractor battery theft.

While the incident took place on July 3, the matter came to light after the victim’s mother moved the District Welfare Office with a written complaint demanding action against the police. As per the complaint, on Wednesday night, police reached the house of the victim, identified as Rajesh Mirdha, on the complaint of tractor battery theft and confronted him. As Rajesh denied the allegations, he was forcefully taken to the police station, where he was brutally beaten and forced to admit to the crime. As Rajesh did not yield, he was released.

DWO officials said, Rajesh’s body bore injury marks when he reached the office. District welfare officer Bhagirathi Patel said, “The mother of the victim alleged that police make casteist remarks at Rajesh and thrashed him in custody. As it was a written letter with mention of caste atrocity, we forwarded the complaint to Sambalpur police. We have requested the police investigate the matter and take proper action. If the accused had indeed used castiest remarks or if it was custodial torture, the offence would come under the atrocity act.”

Burla SDPO Ambit Mohanty said, “An investigation has been launched on the basis of the complaint forwarded by the DWO. Subsequently, a complaint has also been lodged in the name of the youth on charge of theft. We will question the youth as well as our staff to ascertain the truth and prepare a report.”

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