Odisha Govt orders judicial probe into two custodial deaths
Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Government on Tuesday informed the Assembly that it has ordered judicial investigations into two recent custodial death allegations reported from Puri and Sundargarh districts last week. Replying to a discussion on the admissibility of an adjournment motion on the State’s law and order situation, Minister of State for Home Dibya Shankar Mishra said that separate judicial officers will probe the allegations.
He said that the Sub-Divisional Judicial Magistrate of Panposh and the First Class Judicial Magistrate of Puri were entrusted with the task of investigating the alleged custodial deaths at Biramitrapur police station in Sundargarh district and Baseli Sahi police station in Puri town respectively.
Mishra said that the police have been investigating the allegations in strict adherence to the guidelines of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). The Opposition BJP and Congress claimed that 32-year-old K Ramesh was hacked to death by the personnel of Baseli Sahi police station after he was picked up on November 18. Another man, Tarique Salim, also died at Biramitrapur police station under mysterious circumstances the next day.
The Opposition members also charged the police with committing excesses, saying that six people were tortured at Pipili police station in Puri district last week. A Deputy Inspector General (DIG) level inquiry was already ordered into the allegation.
Senior Congress member Santosh Singh Saluja demanded resignation of the Minister of State for Home, and filing of murder cases against erring police officials, including former Puri SP Akhileswar Singh, who was transferred following the incident in Baseli Sahi police station.
“The State Government is responsible for the custodial death of two persons in Puri and Biramitrapur. We demanded a case against the erring police officials, including the former SP, under Section 302 (murder) and a judicial inquiry by a sitting judge of the Orissa High Court,” Opposition Chief Whip Mohan Majhi of the BJP said.
Mishra, however, said that the law and order situation is good in Odisha as some elections were conducted smoothly in recent times while there was no communal flare-up in any part of the State. The Minister said also that the Left Wing Extremism situation also remained under control and the police have successfully conducted lockdown, shutdown and curfew during the pandemic period.