Alok Pandey, NDTV.COM , Friday, December 15, 2006 (New Delhi)
Custody killing: Former ACP sentenced to death
A former Assistant Commissioner of Police in Delhi R P Tyagi has been given the death sentence by a trial court in Delhi. He has been convicted in the custodial death of two people in 1987.
"According to the complaint, the custody death had happened in 1988. The court had to act on this complaint. We'll now move the High Court for all three accused," said Jai Gopalkar, ACP Tyagi's lawyer. Apart from the ACP, two other officers including another ACP have been convicted for trying to destroy the evidence in the case. The other ACP, K P Singh, has been sentenced to one year RI in jail and a sub inspector Tej Singh has been given three years RI.
Ray of hope
Tyagi was the Station House Officer of the Vivek Vihar Police Station in Delhi in 1987 when the incident took place. Two men, Raj Kumar and Mahendra, were tortured on the night of August 16, 1987 and subsequently died.
The sentencing in this case might have taken 20 years but it certainly proves one thing that law enforcers cannot flout the law blatantly. On their part, the Delhi Police offered only a half-hearted apology.
"This shows that even when we get a complaint against our own officers, we act," said Deependra Pathak, PRO, Delhi Police. Lawyers for all three men say they will appeal the verdict in the Delhi High Court.
‘I spent all my life’s savings to get justice’
TENZING LAMSANG, ExpressIndia , Dec 16 2006
NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 15 DTC bus conductor Rajinder Singh, whose brother Mahender Kumar died in police custody in 1987 following torture, reportedly endured death threats, harassment and bankruptcy, while waiting for justice.
Says Rajinder: “The memory of that night (August 16, 1987) is still fresh in my mind, when the police came to our house and started beating up my family members. They dragged away my father and brothers to the thana along with scores of other people from the locality.”
What allegedly followed was illegal confinement and torture, even of the victims’ kin. Ramesh, a colony resident, says: “The police had a scuffle with some people and they began looking for Mahender Kumar and Ram Kumar. We were rounded up like animals…”
Rajinder says Mahender had been tortured so badly that “most of the bones in his body were broken.” He adds: “The police at first refused to take up the matter and we had to file a court complaint.”
Rajinder’s father, Tika Ram, a Class IV government employee, fought for justice for Mahender till he died in 1997, passing on the responsibility to Rajinder and his widow Raj Kali (65). Mahender’s aged mother says: “I used to go to court for every hearing but my failing health has not allowed me to go out during the last two months.”
Rajinder adds: “We started getting death threats from the police and many of them usually hung outside the courts giving me direct threats or passing indirect messages. Today itself, I told the DCP that I can be killed any moment and nothing is certain.”
He says police tried a number of measures to thwart progress in investigations, but justice prevailed in the end. The conductor adds: “I have spent all my father’s and my own life savings to get justice.”
Victim’s daughter doesn’t remember him, but is ‘feeling happy’
AMANDEEP SHUKLA, ExpressIndia , Dec 16, 2006
NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 15 A few lanes away from Mahender Kumar’s house on Circular Road, Janata Colony, near Shahdara, sits Lakshmi, 16, the only daughter of Ram Kumar who was found murdered in May 2000. She feels a little “strange” talking about a father with whom she did not spend much time, but adds, “I am feeling happy”.
Her grandmother, Jamuna Devi, went to congratulate Mahender’s family on their “victory over circumstances”. “After my son (Ram) died, there was nobody to look after her (Lakshmi). We married her mother to my younger son Anil. We are glad that justice has caught up with my son’s killers,” she says.
Jamuna says Ram witnessed the torture that Mahender was subjected to by the police. “The police were scared that he might testify against them in court. That was the reason our lives became hell. He had even told a court that he feared for his life,” she said.
Ram, who is believed to have been a small-time crook, was found murdered in Ghaziabad in 2000. He had been shot six times and then burnt. “I had gone to the spot to collect his body,” says Anil. Ram’s family allege the police showed no inclination to catch his killers.
“We were all very young at that time and our father died soon after our brother. We were clueless about what to do. We were weak and moneyless, but we always supported Mahender’s family,” says Anil.
Cop convicted 19 years after custody death
14 Dec, 2006 TIMES NEWS NETWORK
NEW DELHI: Nineteen years after an accused died in custody, the law finally caught up with the perpetrators.
A retired ACP was convicted for murder on Wednesday by a city court for beating an accused to death in Vivek Vihar, east Delhi.
Another retired ACP and a sub-inspector were convicted for dereliction of duty and tempering with records, respectively, for attempting to shield the guilty.
It was an agonising wait for justice for the victim's family as the Delhi Police allegedly tried to shield their own men by delaying registration of case. The victim's father, Tika Ram, died during the trial.
Additional sessions judge Rajinder Kumar found ACP R P Tyagi guilty of murder of Mahinder Kumar, who was allegedly beaten up in police station on August 241987.
Kumar succumbed to his injuries a day later. The sentences will be pronounced on Friday.
Three Delhi Police officials convicted for custodial death
By Indo Asian News Service
New Delhi, Dec 13 (IANS) A fast-track court here Wednesday held two retired and one serving official of Delhi Police guilty for a custodial death in 1987.
The prosecution had charged retired assistant commissioners of police (ACPs) R.P. Tyagi and K.P. Singh and Inspector Tej Singh – of beating up the victim, Mahinder Kumar, so severely in the lock-up of the Vivek Vihar police station in East Delhi that he had succumbed to the injuries at the Lok Nayak Jaiprakash Narayan hospital here.
Police had arrested Mahinder Kumar and his friend Ram Kumar in a case of causing minor injuries to a couple, the charge sheet said.
While Ram Kumar had managed to escape from their custody at the hospital, police had allegedly got him eliminated after some time.
Despite orders for registration of a case against the erring police officials by the sub-divisional magistrate of the area, police did not bother to book them.
The Crime Branch finally lodged the c
ase on a lower court's directions on a complaint by the family members of Mahinder Kumar.
Additional Sessions Judge Rajendra Kumar of the Karkardooma court held Tyagi guilty under Section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code; K.P. Singh guilty under Section 217 (disobeying a direction of law) and Tej Singh under Section 201 (causing disappearance of evidence).
However, the court acquitted other police personnel chargesheeted in the case saying that the prosecution had failed to prove the charges against them.
Holding the three officials guilty, the court said the prosecution had proved the case beyond all reasonable doubts.
The court also convicted a doctor of the Swami Dayanand hospital here for preparing a wrong medico-legal case (MLC) about the number of injuries the victim had sustained.
Later, the judge fixed Dec 15 as the date for pronouncing the quantum of sentence to be awarded to the three convicts.