Five police personnel in Bihar’s Sitamarhi district have been suspended after the custodial torture and death of two prisoners on March 7. The two men, Gufran Alam, 30, and Taslim Ansari, 32, had been detained in a robbery and murder case, The Indian Express reported on Tuesday.
The daily said photographs and a video clip of their bodies being washed before burial showed marks of nails hammered into their bodies.
“We suspended five policemen including Chandra Bhushan Singh, the officer-in-charge of Dumra police station, in Sitamarhi,” Bihar Director General of Police Gupteshwar Pandey said. “They will also face departmental action. If they do not surrender, they can even face dismissal.” He added that a show cause notice has been issued to Sitamarhi Superintendent of Police Surjeet Kumar, who has been transferred.
NDTV had reported on March 9 that eight policemen were absconding following the incident. Special police teams have been formed to track them down.
The police picked up the two men on March 6 from Ramdiha village in connection with the theft of a motorcycle and the murder of its owner, Rakesh Kumar. A first information report was filed following the prisoners’ deaths, but no policeman has been named in it.
Alam’s father Munnavar Ali told The Indian Express that five police jeeps from the local Chakiya police station arrived early on March 6 and took his son away for questioning. Later, Ansari was also picked up, he said. However, when the villagers reached the police station, they did not find Alam there.
“We returned home and visited the police station again a few hours later,” Ali said. “A local police informer told us about Gufran and Taslim were at Dumra police station. He got Sanawar Ali to speak with Gufran who could barely talk. He said that police had severely beaten him and broken his legs.”
At Dumra police station, the two accused’s families were told to visit Sadar Hospital. “There, we were told that both were dead and their autopsy had been conducted,” Ali said. “We were not allowed to see the bodies. The bodies were handed over to us the next day.”
Relatives who washed and prepared the bodies for burial noticed the wounds. “We have filmed videos and have still photographs of the injury marks caused by iron nails being hammered in,” Sabbil Rooney, a college student who is helping the families, said. “The nails were hammered into their thighs, soles and wrists.” Rooney said the families are awaiting the autopsy report.