Family members, activists and the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) on Saturday, 18 February, demanded that three Medak policemen involved in the alleged custodial torture and death of a daily wager be booked on charges of murder.
“Spoke to higher police officers to ensure IPC 302 is registered against the accused cops,” AIMIM Karwan Assembly Constituency MLA Kausar Mohiuddin posted on social media.
This comes as the deceased, 37-year-old Mohammed Khadeer Khan, a daily wage labourer, was laid to rest on Saturday in Medak after he succumbed to his injuries on the night of 16 February.
Meanwhile, Telangana DGP Anjani Kumar ordered Warangal IG Chandrasekhar Reddy to investigate the case and initiate disciplinary action against the inspector and sub-inspector involved in the case.
The three accused cops have been identified as Sub-inspector P Rajashekhar, and constables Pavan and Prashanth.
On the instructions of AIMIM Prez Br @asadowaisi Sb I’m in Medak.
Abdul Khadeer who passed away after being tortured in police custody by Medak Police,attended his funeral.
Spoke to higher police officers to ensure IPC 302 is registered against the RajShekar SI,Pavan & Prasanth pic.twitter.com/kCqkV4q5pv
— Kausar Mohiuddin (@kausarmohiuddin) February 18, 2023
Victim suffered multiple injuries
“Khadeer suffered damage to kidneys, multiple fractures, dislocation of the spine and renal fracture. The doctor said his body was not recovering,” Shaikh Ahmed, vice-president of a civil rights organisation Human Rights Forum (HRF), told South First.
A video of Khadeer alleging that a sub-inspector and two constables of the Medak Town Police Station have been doing rounds on social media.
While the cops allegedly picked up Khadeer on 29 January from his relative’s house in Hyderabad’s Yakutpura afrea, his wife Siddeshwari submitted a complaint to the Medak Collector and District Magistrate Rajarshi Shah on 9 February against the three accused cops and Medak SP Rohini Priyadarshini.
Medak DSP K Sydullu, however, denied the allegations of custodial death.
“We arrested Khadeer by following the procedure. He was released after we presented him before the Mandal Revenue Officer (MRO). I am not sure how he died,” he told South First.
‘Husband tortured by the police’
As per Khadeer’s wife’s complaint, accessed by South First, the cops forcefully entered the house, thrashed Khadeer and brought him to the Medak police station.
“The police told me that they are doing it as per instructions of the SP to catch my husband in a gold theft case and interrogate him,” Siddeshwari said in the complaint, adding that her husband was “beaten black and blue” and pressured to confess to the theft.
HRF’s Shaikh Ahmed alleged that the SP also threatened to put him behind the bars.
“She asked me not to help the victim. On the action taken, she just said that the three accused cops have been transferred,” he said.
Khadeer was finally handed to his wife by the cops on 3 February.
“On the same day, he was taken to Mandal Revenue Officer (MRO) Medak and he was unable to sign due to the severe beating by police. The policemen themselves signed on one of the papers and let him off,” Siddeshwari alleged.
While the cops later had him house-arrested, Khadeer’s health deteriorated following which he was admitted first to Medak Government hospital and later to Gandhi Hospital in Secunderabad.
Victim’s allegations in the video
In his video, Khadeer alleged that he was kept in custody for five days and beaten up by policemen though he kept telling them that he was innocent.
“The cops said the person involved looks like me. They hung me upside down for two hours, gave me third-degree and assaulted me. They beat me on my legs, hands and all over my body. Now my hands and legs are not functioning.” he alleged.
He added, “In a bid to save myself, I agreed that I will confess the theft. But cops said they want recovery of ornaments as well, which I said I did not have. So they thrashed me again.”
Khadeer alleged that the cops threatened him saying that his family was in the next room, and that they would be stripped naked and rats set loose on them if he did not get the ornaments.
.@KTRBRS, One Mohd Khadeer Khan-35 was picked up by Medak Police from Yakutpura,Hyd on 29th Jan as a suspect in a theft case & kept in illegal custody for 5 days tortured to third degree and later kept in house arrest denied medical help./1 @mahmoodalitrs @TelanganaDGP @spmedak pic.twitter.com/n7AgfAfVpU
— Amjed Ullah Khan MBT (@amjedmbt) February 9, 2023
‘Judicial magistrate must probe custodial deaths’
The cops earlier did not file an FIR due to which the autopsy was delayed until Saturday morning. It was completed only around 1:30 pm.
“Since Khadeer’s wife is a Hindu, the police were examining the authenticity of the petition for an FIR. Only after the police file a case, the autopsy can be performed. We were waiting for approval of the Medak Town police,” Andhra Pradesh and Telangana advisor to HRF, Jeevan Kumar, told South First, alleging that the victim was illegally detained and beaten.
He added, “The police cleverly registered case under CrPC 174 (suspicious death) and not custodial death. They were first avoiding a case and autopsy, but today morning took the body again to Medak from Gandhi hospital.”
While noting that there have been 14 custodial deaths since the formation of Telangana in 2014, Jeevan Kumar said: “In every custodial death, judicial magistrate should inquire and not executive magistrates. But government did not bother and asked Revenue District Officer (RDO) to investigate. This is against the Constitution. We have submitted many representations, but Collectors do not bother.”
Jeevan Kumar added that the Telangana State Human Rights Commission (TSHRC) has taken a suo moto notice of the case. However, DSP Sydullu denied that.
Sources told South First that the tenure of TSHRC ended around a month ago.
‘Compensation of 50 lakhs & 2 bedroom house’
In his representation to the Medak SP, AIMIM MLA Kausar Mohiuddin also sought dismissal from the service of the three accused cops for the torture of Khadeer in custody.
Later, he met the Medak Collector and District Magistrate Rajarshi Shah and sought compensation of ₹50 lakh and a two-bedroom apartment for the family of the deceased.
Apart from his wife, Khadeer is survived by three children — two girls and a boy.
On the instructions of AIMIM Prez Br @asadowaisi Sb I met SP Medak, Smt Rohini, IPS to ensure proper investigation in the custodial death of Abdul Khadeer.
Also met Collector Medak Rajarshi Shah, IAS to ensure compensation of 50 Lakhs & 2 Bedroom House to the family of deceased pic.twitter.com/blEEWR0du8
— Kausar Mohiuddin (@kausarmohiuddin) February 18, 2023