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Six Delhi policemen to be tried for 2014 custodial death

Following a Delhi court’s order, charges of murder and kidnapping will be framed against six policemen on Wednesday for the alleged custodial death of a man here in 2014.

Additional District and Sessions Judge Sanjay Garg last week found prima facie evidence against then head constable Bhoop Singh and constables Uttam Kumar, Sudhir Singh, Rajesh Kumar, Rajesh Kumar Yadav and Arvind to be tried for kidnapping, murder, destruction of evidence and common intention under the Indian Penal Code.

The six were posted in west Delhi’s Bindapur police station when the alleged custodial death occurred.

“A perusal of the post-mortem report of the deceased shows asphyxia as the cause of death, a result of ante-mortem compression of the neck and chest, sufficient to cause death in ordinary course of nature,” the court said.

The court said the medical opinion was sufficient for framing murder charge against the policemen.

According to the prosecution, the six policemen picked up victim Manoj from JJ Colony in Uttam Nagar on 26 May, 2014, and took him to an old building in Bindapur.

The man died during custodial interrogation. The accused policemen then took the body to a local hospital and left it there unattended.

The accused, in their defence, contended that from the material on record, it could not be said that they had any intention to kill Manoj. They argued they could not be charged with murder.

The court, however, said their contention was devoid of merit.

“From the statements of witnesses and other evidence collected during investigation, it is apparent the accused, in pursuance of their common intention, abducted the deceased and took him to an old building where he was tortured as a result of which he died,” the court said.

After Manoj died, the accused destroyed his belongings and left the body unattended at the Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital with the intention of concealing his identity, the court noted.

The court refused to grant the policemen protection of obtaining sanction from the competent authority to initiate proceedings against them, observing that the alleged act done by the public servants was not reasonably connected with the discharge of official duty.

The court said the accused did not made any record entry at the police station before proceeding to pick up the victim, nor did they send any official information to the police station after finding him.

It noted that no first information report was lodged against the victim at Bindapur for which he was required to be interrogated.

Delhi Police charge-sheeted the men on the basis of the statements of witnesses, the post-mortem report of the deceased and call details of the accused and the deceased. The policemen are now in judicial custody.

(Amiya Kumar Kushwaha can be contacted at )

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