Abhishek, 18, was detained on Tuesday at Khagaria's Chautham police station, around 194km east of Patna, thrashed repeatedly in custody, and released on personal bond on Thursday.
Abhishek, who was in his native village Chautham after his examinations, had gone to the police station to ask about his maternal uncle Indal Kumar, lodged in the police lock-up. Abhishek said he had asked Chautham police station house officer (SHO) Mukesh Kumar in English: "Sir, I want to know the reason behind the detention of my uncle. What's the crime he has been booked for?"
At this, Abhishek said, the SHO saw red.
" Peeto ise, bahut angreji bolta hai (thrash him, he is flaunting his English)," Abhishek quoted the SHO as saying.
He said SHO Mukesh and assistant sub-inspector of police (ASI) Shyam Murat kept thrashing him till he fainted.
"They would sprinkle water on my face when I fell unconscious," said Abhishek, who is recuperating at the Khagaria sadar hospital.
Abhishek, a relative said, fell unconscious when he was released on Thursday, which compelled family members to admit him in hospital.
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The schoolboy alleged that the cops pressured him to admit that he was involved in stealing vehicles. "When I didn't budge, they started thrashing me more violently," he said.
After a video showing Abhishek's injuries surfaced on social media, Khagaria superintendent of police (SP) Minu Kumari ordered sadar sub-divisional police officer (SDPO) Ramanand Sagar to conduct a probe.
The SDPO visited the hospital and recorded Abhishek's statement.
The SP suspended SHO Mukesh and ASI Shyam Murti on the basis of the SDPO's report.
Mukesh claimed Abhishek was detained due to his suspicious activities.
"He was released on PR bond after no evidence was found against him," Mukesh added.
A relative of Abhishek, however, claimed the cops released the boy only after the family paid Rs 50,000 as bribe through a middleman.
Asked about it, the SDPO said: "This is subject to investigation. We are looking into the complaint of the victim's relatives. So far, we have not found any evidence to substantiate the allegation."
The SDPO confirmed that the allegations of torture and illegal detention were prima facie found to be true. He also confirmed the disciplinary action against Mukesh and Shyam.
Police sources said Abhishek's uncle was picked up from a mechanic's shop where he had gone for repair of his two-wheeler. The cops had launched a crackdown due to a rise in vehicle thefts in Chautham.
"If the statement of the boy is correct, it's a clear case of illegal detention and action should be taken against the cops," said Patna High Court advocate Rajesh Ranjan Kumar Pandey.
-The Telegraph, India
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