Mandsaur youth Sohail’s death in Narcotics police custody a planned murder: Fact-finding team

gunBy Pervez Bari

BHOPAL: A fact-finding team of Human Rights activists, after due investigation has concluded that the death of a 20-year-old youth namely Sohail Khan in the custody of Narcotics Police on April 2, has concluded on the basis of primary observation to be a planned murder. The fact-finding team after hearing from almost all the sides came to this conclusion.

It may be mentioned here that Sohail Khan s/o Hamid Khan of Mandsaur in Madhya Pradesh died in the custody of Narcotics Police, Mandsaur on April 2 due to brutal beating. Based on the information received from newspapers and other sources, various human rights organizations in Bhopal formed a three-member independent fact-finding team visited Mandsaur. The team comprised of Vasid Khan, general secretary of National Confederation of Human Rights Organizations (NCHRO), Madhya Pradesh, Vijay Kumar of Madhya Pradesh Democratic Rights Forum (MPDRF) and social activist Yusuf Khan.

Members of the independent investigation team went to Mandsaur on 5th April and met the family of the deceased Sohail Khan. Members of the investigation team also met friends and neighbours, including uncle Iraad Khan, brother Murad Khan, brother-in-law Asif Khan. Family members told the team that during the post-mortem, serious injuries were found on the entire body, including Sohail’s genitals. He was brutally beaten up at the Narcotics Police Station. This is why Sohail succumbed to heart attack, they asserted.

For the purpose of understanding the matter, the fact-finding team also met with local journalists and senior social workers. Apart from this, the investigation team also tried to meet Mandsaur Narcotics Superintendent of Police Tiwari but finally it was possible to talk to him over the phone only. When asked about the incident, the Superintendent told that a judicial inquiry is going on in the whole case. So, at this time he cannot say anything. Only after the report comes something can be said he reportedly told the team.

After hearing from almost all the sides, the investigation team found Sohail Khan’s death in police custody on the basis of primary observation to be a planned murder and recommended the following: –

1. There is a severe violation of human rights in the entire case. There has been a gross violation of the Supreme Court guidelines. Therefore, there should be a high level judicial inquiry into the incident under the chairmanship of a retired judge of the High Court within a certain time frame; 2. Immediate dismissal of concerned police officers and they should be prosecuted for murder; 3. In view of the economic condition of the family, compensation of Rs. 50 lakhs should be given to the victim’s family; 4. The lives of family members and eyewitnesses are in danger, so they should be provided judicial protection.

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