BJP worker Rajkumar Shaw died during an interrogation by West Bengal Police earlier this month. He was taken into custody when some raw material from a construction site was found missing in the locality. Police arrested a Muslim woman Asura Bibi on charges of theft, but she pleaded innocence.
Police then interrogated Rajkumar Shaw, who owns a small scrap shop, on the suspicion of having bought allegedly stolen material from Asura Bibi. Shaw was taken into custody by the police on the morning of February 10th, after his strong denial of the allegations levelled on him and refusal to identify Asura Bibi as a thief.
Asura, despite being pregnant, was not spared police brutality either. Asura Bibi testified that Shaw was not only beaten up mercilessly by the police personnel but was also given electric shocks. The police demanded he pay them Rs. 1,20,000 as price of the stolen goods or hand them Rs. 50,000 to get the charges dropped.
When Shaw’s family reached the police station at around 6 PM, they were told that he had fallen ill and was taken to RK Kar hospital for treatment. However, as per sources, the hospital has confirmed that he was brought dead.
Outraged family members and neighbors of Shaw gathered up in protest outside the Sinthi Police Station but were chased away by goons of local TMC councilor Gautam Haldar. When local BJP leaders, Dinesh Pandey and Brajesh Jha reached the location, they too were beaten and manhandled by the miscreants and their vehicles were vandalized. BJP members then decided to take out a procession from Bagbazar to Sinthi, protesting police brutality in the state, but the police refused to give them permission to take out this procession.
On the other hand, family members of late Rajkumar Shaw lodged an FIR under Sections 166, 166A, 330, 342 and 348, against the sergeant and two sub-inspectors of the Sinthi police station whose alleged brutality had led to Shaw’s death. Also, a case has been filed with the High Court which then ordered a thorough investigation and asked for the report to be submitted by 25 February. Lawyer Dhiraj Trivedi, who is representing the victim, has prayed for a CBI investigation.
On Tuesday, the post mortem was conducted in the presence of Sealdah court’s judge and judicial magistrate. The entire proceeding was captured in camera as well. “According to NHRC guidelines, the rights body was informed within 24 hours of it being reported. Following norms, a judicial magistrate is carrying out the inquest and the inquiry. Three surgeons carried out the post-mortem in presence of the judicial magistrate Haripada Hazra. The process was video recorded. The final report will be sent to NHRC and the HC,” a police officer confirmed.
This is just another ghastly incident from the state that exposes its broken law and order situation. A life of a poor helplessness citizen of limited means holds no value for the government officials who at times prove to be worse than criminals in their conduct.
With ‘political violence’ now becoming a daily part of life in West Bengal, chances of peaceful survival of an opposition looks impossible. But no liberal media cries about the perilous state of democracy in the state.
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