The Jammu and Kashmir Police on Monday booked Talib Hussain, a social activist who spearheaded a campaign demanding justice for the family of the victim in the Kathua case, for attempting suicide in police custody, Greater Kashmir reported. Supreme Court lawyer Indira Jaising, however, claimed that Hussain had been tortured and that he had sustained head injuries.
On Tuesday, Jaising said Hussain was sent back to Samba Police Station after being treated at a hospital in the city even though he had been allegedly tortured. She claimed Hussain’s relatives had seen him bandaged and bleeding at the police station, and they were not allowed to meet him.
Jammu Inspector General of Police SD Singh Jamwal refuted the allegations. He told The Indian Express that Hussain “may be taking drugs and suffering from withdrawal symptoms’’. Dr Gurjeet Singh, the director of health services in Jammu, told the newspaper that the activist had inflicted the injuries on himself. Hussain sustained “hypotoma in frontal skull’’ and there were no other injuries, the doctor added.
Director General of Police Shesh Paul Vaid also refuted the allegations of torture, and said Hussain had hit himself on the head “out of frustration”. Vaid told Scroll.in that other inmates had witnessed the incident and there was visual proof to back the police’s version of events. The activist had only sustained scratches, he added.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court agreed to hear on Wednesday a petition filed by one of Hussain’s relatives, reported PTI. The relative has filed a habeas corpus writ petition, accusing the police of illegal detaining and torturing Hussain. The bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices DY Chandrachud and Indira Banerjee will hear the case.
Hussain was arrested on August 2 on charges of sexual assault and illegal possession of weapons, reports said. The rape charge was filed following a domestic violence case registered by his estranged wife. She claimed that he had even attempted to kill her. The general secretary of the Tribal Research and Cultural Foundation, Javed Rahi, however, alleged that the charges against Hussain had been filed as he had led the campaign demanding justice in the Kathua case.