Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Police excess brings constant fear

I am 19-year old Pintu and live in Kakrahi, Karma Police station, Robertsganj block, Sonebhadra district. I have 3 brother and 3 sisters. My father, Kallu alias Budhram, who is 45 year old, is a vegetable vendor. Like any other day on 11th September 2007, my father had gone to Sabzi Mandi (wholesale vegetable market) to purchase vegetable, while returning back one shopkeeper of the Mandi, Shambu Jaiswal and his accomplices, Munnar Mauraya, Rajesh Mauraya, Ram Lakshman Prajapati, Sudama alias Dasrath called my father and though bidding for the vegetable he did not purchase that and dragged him to house, closed the shutter and started raining incessant blows on him. Then, a man witnessing that came running to our house. He told that some people are thrashing our father.

At that time, I was wearing a lungi and standing at the door of my house. Listening that I got terrified and ran to the Mandi, there I heard my father was screaming beaten black and blue. I also got panicky, I started shivering in fear and I was not able to utter a single word. Seeing me shouting and crying, they left my father. Then, we rushed our father to a Government Hospital. After his treatment started, we went to the police station to file an FIR against those who had continuously beaten my father. SO in the police station asked for the original copy of the medical report. Then, we returned back. In the morning we went to the police station to hand over the medical report and file the FIR. The SO took away 2 copies of the medical which I was carrying and police took it away. Police in an abusive manner told us that don’t complain that your father was beaten mercilessly. Policemen started beating us and pushed behind the lock up. Frightened with that I started crying out of fear thinking how would be father and how the things would be at home. I was getting hungry, which I couldn’t tell anyone as I was too scared. A vendor was selling chop, I gave Rs. 100 hiding from other’s eyes and told him to give us a chop. The remaining amount the police told that the vendor would return back when I would be released from the jail.

Next day, I was booked under section 151 of the IPC and those who had beaten my father mercilessly turned up at the police station and jeered at me if you would speak against us then this would be our fate. I was crying and I was quite worried that my father was in the hospital. After being released from the jail, I had sleepless nights as those threatening me to kill hovered in my mind. I had to take sleeping pills continuously for 25 days. Then also, I used to scream and wake up during the nights thinking of my days in the lock up and the police high handedness. I used to hide myself whenever I saw those people who had threatened me of dire consequences if I dared to make any complaint against them.

Shambu Jaiswal and his accomplices told my advocate if I dared to file any complaint against them, then would get me killed by branding me as a ‘Naxalite’. Then I started working in Rahat Times, a local Hindi daily newspaper, where police officials used to come at its office. Seeing the police, I used to get scared. Whenever my senior, Santosh Patel used to send me to bring tea or betel, then I gathered courage to talk to the police. I used to talk to them in hushed tone. Gradually, I could overcome my fear against the police. Whenever I was sent alone to ‘kotwali’ (police station) to gather information about the criminal cases so the fear was deeply embedded in my mind that I used to go to the court and told tell lies. But now I am quite enthusiastic, that by placing news in our newspaper we are able to serve the people. It gives me quite a relief. When my senior, Santosh came to know about police high handedness over me, then he generates confidence in me. He told that me that nobody would harm you, do not fear anyone, you have to put up a brave front against those who threaten you with dire consequences. It gave me courage and belief in me. Sometimes, those people threaten me on phone that they would abduct and kill me.

Today I am keen to help others. When police officer, Gyanendra Mishra was demoted to lower rank and transferred I was quite happy. Even after helping other in their problems, the fear lurks in my mind that police would again implicate us in false cases and kill me. Then also, I am fighting for those killed by police. Charges under Sections 147, 323, 325,504, 506 and 324 of IPC were framed then also police did not act so they have lost hope over the law enforcers. Sometimes, I lose control over my brain. Then I took the onerous responsibility of fighting against the police excess. Now, I get constant support and encouragement from the people. If I see police beaten by police, it shivers my spine. It seems as if I and my father are being beaten. Still, there is slight fear in my mind.

Testimony Report by Vijay Bharti and Upender under RCT-PVCHR initiative

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