Hyderabad: A daily wager who had accused police of brutally torturing him after falsely accusing him in a chain snatching case died at the Gandhi Hospital in Hyderabad on Thursday, February 16.
Today, February 18, police have promised an investigation and disciplinary action against some of the cops.
Thirty-five-year-old Mohammed Khadeer was reportedly picked up by Medak Town police at Yakutpura in Hyderabad on January 29. Although Khadeer is a resident of Medak Town, he was in Yakutpura, visiting a relative, when he was held.
Police suspected Khadeer of involvement in two theft cases registered in January. Examination of CCTV footage, cops claimed, led them to Khadeer.
Khadeer has claimed he was released on February 2. On February 9, he was admitted to a hospital in Medak. On February 12, as his condition worsened, he was shifted to the state-run Gandhi Hospital in Hyderabad. Doctors there told him that his kidneys were damaged.
During his time at the Gandhi Hospital, Khadeer issued a video statement essaying what he allegedly went through while he was in police custody.
.@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
Cops allegedly used rubber tyres belts to beat him brutally over the period of five days.
“They hung me upside down for a couple of hours and thrashed me using rubber tyre belts. I kept telling them I am innocent but the torture did not stop,” he said in a video from the hospital.
They also gave him electric shocks, Khadeer said. After his release, he was unable to either walk or move his hands.
“The police attempted to force my husband to admit to a crime which he never did,” Siddeshwari, Khadiee’s wife, had earlier told reporters. The couple have three children.
Siddeshwari, in a petition to the Medak collector, demanded action against sub-inspector Rajasekhar and two constables – Pavan and Prashanth.
Medak DSP Saidulu meanwhile, refused to admit that police had tortured or confined Khadeer in illegal custody.
“He was detained for questioning as the person involved in a property offence matched Khadeer,” he told media persons.
By afternoon on February 18, the Director General of Police Anjani Kumar had directed Inspector General of Police Chandrasekher Reddy to hand over investigation on the matter to a senior officer of the Kamareddy district. The IGP is to supervise the investigation, the DGP said.
Disciplinary action, too, has been initiated against the inspector and sub-inspector, the DGP’s public relations officer said.
Khadeer’s death sparked a political outcry with the All India Majilis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) party demanding a case of murder be registered against the policemen involved in the case. AIMIM MLA Kausar Mohiuddin also visited Medak and attended Khadeer’s funeral prayers. He came down heavily on the police and demanded action.
“Was he a Naxalite or terrorist?” asked the MLA.
Srinivas Kodali, a researcher from Hyderabad, tweeted after the incident, “Custodial torture is a punishable offence and it is important we fight, but ask why was he picked up at all? If his facial features really matched with a criminal, then the Telangana police has to show us the proofs.”
Former IPS officer and Bahujan Samaj Party leader from Telangana, Dr R.S. Praveen Kumar, also demanded the police register a case under Section 302 (murder) of IPC against the police personnel responsible for Khadeer’s death.
“They are taking the lives of poor people like Mariaamma and Khadeer just on the suspicion of chain theft. And have you ever tried to at least touch people like Adani, Kavita or Vijay Mallya who are doing hundreds and thousands of crores of scams?” he asked.