The Telangana High Court on Thursday ordered a judicial inquiry into the death of a Dalit woman, allegedly due to police brutality, on June 18, The Times of India reported.
The court’s order was based on a petition filed by the People’s Union for Civil Liberties. On Wednesday, an inspector and two constables were suspended in connection with the woman’s death.
The police in Addagudur district had taken Mariamma and her son into custody on June 15 to question them about the theft of Rs 2 lakh from the premises of a church. Their counsel alleged that they were tortured for three days.
Assistant Commissioner of Police N Shyam Prasad Rao told the newspaper that the woman complained of uneasiness during questioning on June 17 night. She was soon moved to a hospital but was declared dead on arrival on the morning of June 18.
On Thursday, a bench comprising justices MS Ramachandra Rao and T Vinod Kumar directed the judicial first class magistrate of Alair town to conduct the inquiry into the her death and submit a report within a month.
The judges said that a second postmortem analysis of the woman’s body should be done if necessary, according to the newspaper. They added that this could be done under Section 174 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the Hindu reported.
During the hearing, the court asked about CCTV camera footage from the police station where the incident took place, The Times of India reported. The Telangana government’s lawyer told them that the police station did not have CCTV cameras.
The High Court asked the lawyer why there were no CCTV cameras at the station despite orders from the Supreme Court. It added that CCTV cameras could help police officers prove their innocence “Suppose if the victim died of a heart attack, then they can easily establish their innocence,” it added.