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PUCL, March 2005

Murder or Suicide?

A report on a death in Delhi police custody
-- By Pushkar Raj, General Secretary PUCL-Delhi
Rohit Raj, intern with PUCL

Parmeshwar Dayal was allegedly abducted by his former employer on the day when he was about to inaugurate his jewellery dye manufacturing unit. His former employer had warned him against doing so. But he persisted. He was merely 28 and wanted to make big in business. He was abducted on 26 Feb., 2004

The family lodged an FIR against the suspects, his former employers who were directly effected by his new venture in the same line of business. The FIR was lodged at Keshavpuram Police station of north West District. The investigation were carried out by the police post Shanti Nagar under the police station Keshavpuram.

Parmeshwar Dayal was brought back to Delhi by the police in the night of 14-15 by Jehlum Express. According to police his cousin accompanied him.

The cousin is let go in the night. Parmeshwar dayal is kept at the police post which is situated at a residential area with a staff of around a dozen people. According to police his family were informed but did neither turn up to take him at the railway nor came to the police post.

Parmeshwar dayal was stayed put in the police post for the night.

In morning at 10:30 the young man was dead. According to police he committed suicide by electrocuting himself in the toilet.

Police version
PUCL could not contact the two police personnel, Randhir Singh and Narender ( as their contact numbers were not provided by the concerned police station) who brought Parmeshwar Dayal back to Delhi. The acting In charge of the post said that we better talk to the SHO as he was just an officiating head. The SHO Gajraj Singh said that there is nothing much in the case. The man had himself gone to Poona. He was brought back. He was not happy with his family. He electrocuted himself. Baat khatam.

He further added that we had registered the case against the suspects under section 365 and now since we find that he had gone at his own we shall see what we shall do about it

He further said that we better talk to Rajbir Singh who is the investigating officer of the case. Rajbir Singh also did not provide any information except that he is just a runner of the Additional District Magistrate who is conducting the inquiry. We should better contact Astt. Commissioner of Police, Manglesh Kashyap.

Version of Manglesh Kashyap ACP
Mr Kashyap said that Parmeshwar had started his business a month back. He was not doing well in his business. He was depressed. He went away without informing his family. On the FIR we traced him to Poona on the basis of his phone records. He was phoning his mother.

Following is the text of the conversation between PUCL and ACP
PUCL:Why did he commit suicide
ACP: as I said he was not doing well in his business. Another reason was that he was unhappy with his family that they had lodged a complaint against his former employers who he said has nothing to do with it.

PUCL: where did he commit suicide?
ACP: In the toilet.

PUCL: How did he do it?
ACP: He electrocuted himself

PUCL: in the toilet?
ACP: yes in the toilet.

PUCL: did you break open the door?
ACP: No we did not have to. These doors are not very strong you see.

PUCL: But do you know that there is no wiring in the toilet. It is spotless. There is not a single sign of electricity?
ACP: Who told you

PUCL: we went there and saw the bath room and the toilet of the police post
ACP: Well the person from electric department had gone there and checked it. The ADM is inquiring into the matter and would come out of the fact.

PUCL: How long do you think the inquiry would take to complete

ACP: I have no idea you better contact the ADM
.
Conclusion
The death of parmeshwar Dayal in police custody seems a case of custody death on the basis of following grounds.

The police version that Parmeshwar Dayal was depressed was based on two claims. One that his business was not doing well and second that he was unhappy with his family. Both do not hold ground. The fact is that his business was not one month old --as a matter of fact it was yet to begin.

Second that he was unhappy with his family just because they had lodged a complaint against his former employer and therefore committed suicide is to stretch the imagination too far. If he was too attached with his former employers then why should he have started the same business in the same locality even though he lived in Karawal Nagar, east Delhi.

Third and the most important.
The Shanty Nagar police post has one bathroom that overlooks the door of police post in-charge and one toilet that adjoins it. The two bathrooms are in a 'L' shape. The bathroom has a bulb holder socket.There is no bulb in it.

The toilet that adjoins has no electric wiring whatsoever. In fact there is no sign of socket, holder or anything. There is no loose wire.

However, there are some loose wires hanging outside the toilet that are well wrapped with the tape. They could not have been live because it is the only toilet that is used for all the people in the post. For their own safety it is unimaginable that police men would have left those wires alive.

Given this fact the police version that the Parmeshwar committed suicide by putting his hand in the socket is a blatant lie and a cover up of highest degree.

Furthermore it is a well-known fact that the electricity that is supplied to the residential area is AC ( Alternating current). It is not the DC (Direct Current.) So, even if someone touches a live point the most that could happen to him is that he will be thrown back.

Did Parmeshwar go inside the toilet with the intention of killing himself and forgot to bolt the door?

Since there is no wiring or electric point inside the toilet then should we believe that he pulled the wire from outside, electrocuted himself and died without making a sound despite the fact that toilet overlooks the main entrance, police in-charge’s room, the ten by fifteen courtyard, and two adjoining rooms. The distance between the reception, police post’s in-charge’s room and the toilet is hardly twenty feet.

Demand

  1. PUCL demands a time bound CBI inquiry in the incident as the routine administrative inquires take a long time. The delay in inquiry report dilutes the evidence to the extent that guilty in most of the cases go scot-free.
  2. PUCL demands that NHRC take cognizance of the matter forthwith and monitor the progress of the case. This would serve as a deterrent to other potential offenders in the force.
  3. PUCL demands that the commissioner of the police make public the fate of earlier custody death inquiries; findings as well as action taken on those finding.

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