PATNA – Two Muslims, Mohammad Taslim, 35 and Mohammad Gufran, 30, were killed in police custody in Bihar’s Sitamarhi district. The prime accused SHO Chandra Bhushan Singh, who was absconding, was suspended and arrested on Friday. Other 8 policemen were also suspended in the case.
The deceased, residents of Ramdiha village under Chakia police station in East Champaran district, were allegedly picked up by the police from Sitamarhi on Tuesday night. They were allegedly tortured and mercilessly beaten by them to confess their involvement in the loot and murder case, finally leading to their death.
Gufran’s father was quoted by NewsClick as saying “Police on Wednesday has beaten up Gufran and Taslim till they were half dead and lost consciousness. After that, they admitted them to a hospital but soon after both succumbed to their internal injuries. It is a clear case of murder by police in police custody. How did the two of them, who were healthy a day before detaining, died in police custody?”
Taslim and Gufran died within 20 hours after being detained by the police, raising serious questions on the police and embarrassing the state government.
Eight policemen fled after their alleged role in the custodial death.
After the incident came to the limelight and protests by different social outfits and political parties, an FIR was lodged against the suspended policemen including Dumra police station SHO Chandra Bhusan Kumar Singh on the basis of Manawar Ali’s statement.
The case has come as a major embarrassment to the Nitish Kumar government, which has been accused of failing to alleviate the law-and-order situation in the state by the opposition. A few days ago, the Chief Minister had warned Director General of Police Gupteshwar Pandey – who has been widely covered by the local media – that he should be ready to face the heat if he fails to discharge his duties efficiently.