PUCL Bulletin, October 2001

PUCL Muzaffarpur
Report on death in police custody of Shri Anil Pandey

PUCL Muzaffarpur Constituted an enquiry team to enquire into the Custodial death of Shri Anil Pandey, a resident of Madhaul village under Turki Out Post (henceforth referred to as O.P.) of Kudhani P.S. of Muzaffarpur District on 1st June 2001. The team consisted of the following persons: 1. Surendra Kumar, General Secretary, PUCL Muzaffarpur; 2. Dr. Anil Kumar, 'Arun', Member, Executive Committee, PUCL Muzaffarpur; 3. Prem Kumar Shrivastava, Member, Executive Committee, PUCL Muzaffarpur.

The enquiry team went through the following: 1. Two F.I.R. relating to incident, 2. Post-mortem Report, 3. News-paper reports, 4. The team visited Madhaul and met the family members of the deceased Anil Pandey and talked to other villagers. The team also met shop-keepers of Turki Bazar and Shivaji Rai, a local Doctor. The members of the team met Shri Ashok Kumar, Officer Incharge of Turki O.P. in his Chamber.

The details of the incident, according to the FIR - 113/2001 dated 1st June, 2001 at 22.30 recorded by literate constable Shri Panchdeva Singh (653) states as the following: Shri Satish Chandra Madhav, officer Incharge, Turki O.P., accompanied by Lal Babu Prasad, ASI, and other two armed constables went to arrest the accused of Case No.- 18/2001 of Kudhani (Turki P.O.) P.S. at 17.00 on 31.5.2001. The officer Incharge with the raiding party returned to the O.P. at 19.00 hours. He brought Shri Anil Pandey of Madhaul Village, the accused in the aforesaid case with him. Shri Anil Pandey was kept in the lock-up. The constable Panchdeva Singh was told by officer Incharge that during the arrest Anil Pandey sustained some injuries due to falling and scuffles. Anil Pandey desired to be allowed to pass urine on way to Turki O.P. He got down before Turki chowk. As soon as he sat to urinate, he escaped and ran in the western direction. Then they chased him and shouted for help to capture him. Ten to fifteen persons chased and captured him. The accused was severely beaten up before we (police) caught up with him. The accused was taken to Primary Health centre for treatment. The doctor was not available there. Therefore, after getting first aid from a local Doctor, Shri Shivaji Raik, the accused was brought to G.P.O.

The accused complained of severe pain when the lock-up was opened at 7 a.m. on 1st June, 2001. Shri Arun Kumar Pandey and two other persons were present at the O.P. at that time. Anil Pandey was brought in their presence to Dr. Shivaji Rai for Medical checkup, Dr. Rai advised the police to take him to Sardar Hospital for further medical help. Shri Lal Babu Prasad, ASI, Shri Arjun Ram ASI, Vishwanth Chaudhary, ASI, Shri Anil Ram, Driver constable and Genalal Paswan, Chowkidar took Anil Pandey to Sardar Hospital, Muzaffarpur. There he(Anil Pandey) was declared dead. Shri Arun Kumar Pandey and three others became furious and carried back the body of Anil Pandey to Turki O.P. "I (Panchdeva Singh) was the only man present at the O.P. at that time with an armed constable. A crowd of about hundred people armed with lathi came to the O.P. The crowd abused me and forcibly opened the lock-up to put the dead body in it. A Danda was also kept on the body of Anil Pandey. The men among the crowd kept several bottles of wine on the tables. I (Panchdeva Singh) was severely beaten with "Lath-Mukka" by the unruly mob. As a result I along with other Constables sustained injuries. They threw away records here and there. The mob also damaged the wireless set. The crowd accused me of helping the officer Incharge in escaping from the O.P. The unruly mob was bent upon killing me. But, I (Panchdev Singh) was saved with the help of the armed police present there. The mob remained in the O.P. campus. Senior officials reached the O.P. B.D.O. Kudhani prepared the death examination report and the dead body was sent to S.K.M.C.H., Muzaffarpur for postmortem. The officials of O.P. did not return to O.P. Therefore, I am registering this statement."
(b) FIR No. 114/2001, dated 1st June, 2001 (22.45 hrs.) (Statement by Anurag Parimal S/o Anil Pandey, vill.+P.O.- Madhoul)

"Shri Satish Chandra Madhav, officer Incharge, Turki O.P. accompanied by Shri Lal Babu Parsad and five other constables came to my house at Madhaul on 31st May, 2001 at 4'o clock in a afternoon. They arrested Anil Pandey while he was sitting in his house. Anil Pandey wanted to know the cause of his arrest. Shri Madhav, Officer Incharge became furious and began to abuse him. There was scuffle between him and the Officer-Incharge. In the meantime neighbours and villagers, e.g. Ashoka Pandey, Shrikant Pandey, Nilam Devi, Kumar Pandey, Pankaj Lochan Pandey came and enquired about the cause of arrest. The Office-Incharge became more furious and ordered for beating him. Satish Chandra Madhav began to assault my father after throwing him on the ground with the bun of rifle and boot. Anil Pandey requested him (Office-Incharge) to allow him to deposit his valuables with his family. But the Office-Incharge did not allow him and he was forcibly dragged to the jeep. He was taken to the O.P. I along with Sunil Pandey and other villagers went to the police outpost. We saw that Satish Chandra Madhav assisted by Lal Babu Prasad, S.I. were beating my father. As soon as we protested, he (Office-Incharge) ordered his men to beat us also. We were forcibly pushed out from the outpost. We ran away due to fear. We came to Turki O.P. in the morning at 5 a.m. on 1st June, 2001. We came to know that the police had killed my father Anil Pandey in the Hazat. His dead body was not there. We went to Sardar Hospital, Muzaffarpur. We came to know that the dead body had been taken to Turki O.P.I came back to Turki O.P. and there found the dead body of my father in the Hajat. The Office-Incharge had left the place."
The application of Anurag Parimal is addressed to S.P., Muzaffarpur and received by D.S.P.(Head Quarter). Thereafter, FIR had been recorded.

(C) Madhaul
The enquiry team reached Madhaul on the 22nd June, 2001 at 9:00 a.m. The team visited and talked to the family members of late Anil Pandey. The team also met several villagers. The villagers who met the team were Ram Naresh Pandey, Ramjanm Pandey and others. They said that the police went to the house of late Anil Pandey after leaving the jeep on the road. The Office-Incharge began to beat late Anil Pandey on the demand of the warrant of arrest by him. Constables beat him with the butt of their rifles. The police dragged him to the jeep and took him away to the Police Station. The villagers followed him. They saw that after bringing Late Anil Pandey to the Police Station, he was laid down on a platform before the O.P. The officer Incharge was standing on his chest. Other Constables were beating him with the buts of their rifles. They were forced to leave the place when they protested. Sunil Pandey with some other villagers went at night with food for Anil Pandey. Anil Pandey took little food. He was talking at that time.

Arun Pandey, Sushil Pandey and other villagers went to Turki O.P. in the morning between 5 a.m. to 6 a.m. They came to know that Anil Pandey had been taken to Muzaffarpur for treatment. They went to Sardar Hospital, Muzaffarpur. They came to know that Anil Pandey was brought there dead. The dead body had been taken away to Turki O.P. They found the dead body in the police lock-up on their return. There were no officials including Office-Incharge at O.P.

Ram Janam Pandey told the enquiry team that the news of the death spread like a wild fire in the area. Therefore a large number of villagers and local people assembled near Turki O.P. After a hard struggle and due to intervention of Shri Basawan Bhagat, the local legislator and Minister of Bihar Government, the application given by the son of the deceased was registered as FIR. The SP, Muzaffarpur ordered the suspension of Satish Chandra Madhav, the Office-Incharge.

According to the villagers a Dalit of the village filed a case against Anil Pandey, 4 to 5 months ago. The distance between the house of Anil Pandey and that of the Dalit is 1.5 K.M. Anil Pandey was not an absconder in this case according to the villagers. No warrant of arrest was issued against him. He used to attend his duty regularly at RDS College, Muzaffarpur. He had a betel shop near Malang Sthan on Muzaffarpur-Hazipur main road. He used to sit there daily. He went to attend his duty on the day of the arrest also. The villagers told the team that during the re-election of Panchyat, Satish Chandra Madhav created terror to help a particular candidate. Due to the terror many voters did not turn up.

According to the villagers on 3rd June 2001, Satish Chandra Madhav, the suspended Office-Incharge went to dispose of pending work at Kudhani P.S. The villagers of Madhaul and the local people gheraoed Kudhani P.S. The people sat on dharna in the premises of Kudhani P.S. with demanding arrest of Satish Chandra Madhav. The senior officials from Muzaffarpur reached there keeping in view the gravity of the situation about the incident of the firing on 11th April, 2001. They arrested Satish Chandra Madhav and brought him to Muzaffarpur. He was sent to the hospital on the pretext of indisposition.

Turki Chowk
The enquiry team talked to the shop keepers on Turki Chowk and its surrounding area. They did not confirm the incident of 31st May, 2001 about the attempt of escape by any prisoner and his beating by passes by and the local people.

Dr. Shivaji Rai
The clinic of Dr. Shivaji Rai is situated in the southern direction from Turki Chowk and is in between Turki Chowk and Turki O.P. He denied that Anil Pandey was brought to his Clinic on 31st May, 2001 for medical check-up. He was brought there on 1st June 2001. He said that he(Anil Pandey) was dead. The police was accompanied by Shri Anil Pandey's near relatives. I told them that in case they had any doubt they might go to Sadar Hospital for confirmation.

Turki O.P.
Shri Ashok Kumar, Office-Incharge, was present there. He is investigating officer (I.O.) of both cases. He declined to comment on the incident. He told the team that he joined O.P. at 10 p.m. on 31st May, 2001 after the suspension of the then Office-Incharge. He said that all the officials and men posted there on the day of the incident are either transferred or suspended. Therefore, the team could not meet any policeman associated with the incident. He confirmed that no warrant of arrest in the case of atrocities against a member of the Scheduled Caste was issue against the deceased by any Court, but the order for his arrest was issued from the level of the S.P. He pleaded his inability in showing the order. He confirmed that there were no other cases against late Anil Pandey.

It is to be mentioned here that a meeting of Police Association took place in the conference room of the S.P. on 5th June, 2001 after the suspension of Satish Chandra Madhav. At the meeting, it was alleged that Shri Sudharshan Ram, Dy. SP(HQ) declared the false case of atrocities against Anil Pandey to be true(in his supervision report) and ordered for his arrest. It was thus this unwise act of the Dy. SP(HQ), which led to the tragedy. (Daily Jagran, 6th June, 2001)

Analysis
The FIR registered by constable Panchdeva Singh, the Postmortem report, the statements of shopkeepers on Turki Chowk, and Dr. Shivaji Rai throw sufficient light on the custodial death of Shri Anil Pandey. According to the FIR of Police:
1. Anil Pandey was allowed to get down to urinate a few hundred yards before

Turki O.P.
It is to be mentioned that the distance of Turki O.P. from that point is about three hundred yards. It can be covered within a minute. Therefore, the story of Anil Pandey being allowed to get down there is not believable.

2. The police jeep (Madhaul to Turki O.P.) proceeded in south direction after arresting Anil Pandey. The jeep, if it was stopped before Turki O.P., stood on the left side of the road i.e. towards the east. Anil Pandey would have sat on the east side to urinate. The police was standing at the back. Therefore, it is not possible for Anil Pandey(according to FIR No. 113/2001) to flee in the western direction after crossing the road.

3. There is no population on the western side before Turki Chowk. Therefore, it is not believable that Anil Pandey was beaten by villagers and persons passing on the road.

4. Ten to fifteen unknown people allegedly caught Anil Pandey and beat him. It is to be mentioned that the police was with Anil Pandey. It is surprising that passers-by reached before the police.

5. The affected portion of Anil Pandey would have been his face and head in case of beating by the mob. But according to the postmortem report there is no sign of any injury on his face and head.

6. According to the FIR of the police persons from Madhaul village were also in ten to fifteen unidentified persons who beat Shri Pandey. His life was saved due to intervention of the police. He was seriously injured before the police arrived.

It is surprising that the police did not record an FIR about the attempt to escape from police custody by Anil Pandey and his beating by unidentified people.

7. According to the police, Anil Pandey, after getting injured was medically treated by Dr. Shivaji Rai on 31.5.2001, but Dr. Shivaji Rai denied this before the enquiry team.

8. According to the police following the complaint of severe pain in the body, Shri Anil Pandey was taken to Dr. Shivaji Rai for check-up in the morning of 1st June, 2001. Dr. Shivaji Rai advised the police to take him to the Sardar hospital, Muzaffarpur. But Dr. Shivaji Rai told this team that when the police brought Anil Pandey with some relatives for check-up in the morning of 1st June 2001, he was found dead. The police was not convinced of his finding. So, they took him to the Sadar Hospital, Muzaffarpur.

9. The body of Shri Anil Pandey was expected to be sent to S.K. Medical College for postmortem after declaration of his death by the doctors of Sadar Hospital, Muzaffarpur. But the police brought back the dead body to Turki O.P.
IT is clear that after the death of Anil Pandey, the police was nervous. Therefore, they brought back his body to Turki O.P.

10. The police registered FIR 113/2001 dated 1st June, 2001 at 10:30 p.m. in the night. The cause of delay in recording was said to be due to non-availability of any police officer.

11. The police officials, Sri Arjun Ram ASI, Sri Bishwanath Chaudhary, ASI and other policemen took Anil Pandey to the Sadar Hospital, Muzaffarpur in the morning of 1st June, 2001. They had brought back the body of Sri Anil Pandey to Turki O.P. It is surprising that these officials did not record the FIR on their return to O.P. where there officials went away? The FIR registered by police is at 22:30 p.m. Muzaffarpur-Hazipur road was blocked in protest against the custodial death of Sri Anil Pandey on June 1st 2001. The S.P., Muzaffarpur and D.M., Muzaffarpur reached Turki O.P. and found the dead body in the Hajat. The mob was demanding registering of murder case and arrest of the concerned police officials. The senior police officials were not ready for this. Sri Basawan Bhagat, minister, Government of Bihar(Local Legislator) arrived at the scene in the meantime. The continued protest by the mob and intervention by Sri Baswan Bhagat led to the registering FIR against the policemen. Therefore, the police recorded the FIR in its defence in a hurry at 22:30 p.m.

12. Anil Pandey had serious injuries on his back and chest according to the postmortem report. The blood clotted severely in these parts of the body. His lever was also found damaged due to beating. The internal parts of the body was also found damaged. Therefore, large amount of bleeding took place in the lever and internal parts of the stomach. The postmortem report states these causes for the death. It is clear that the police brutally assaulted him with rifles butts and boots on the chest, the abdomen and that back of Anil Pandey. This caused internal injuries.

13. The time of post-mortem is indicated at 6 p.m. on 1st June, 2001. It is said that the death occurred before twelve to eighteen hours.
(a) It is very clear that the death of Anil Pandey took place in the night of 31st May, 2001.

(b) The body was probably sent to S.K. Medical College, Muzaffarpur for postmortem at 4 p.m. whereas the time for post-mortem was at 6 p.m. It was possible to sent the body only when the mob became peaceful. So, under what circumstances the FIR was recorded at 22:30 hrs. and 22.45 hrs.?
Conclusion
The enquiry team after analyzing the two FIRs and the post-mortem report and talking to the affected family, the villagers of Madhaul, the shopkeepers of Turki Chowk, Dr. Shivaji Rai, a medical practitioner, reached the following conclusion:

A police squad under Sri Satish Chandra Madhav, Office-Incharge, Turki O.P. reached Madhaul at 4 p.m. on 31st May, 2001. The police reached the house of Anil Pandey, on foot leaving the jeep on the road. Anil Pandey was arrested from his house(Ref. To FIR No. 18/2001, Kudhani(Turki O.P.) P.S.. Anil Pandey wanted to know the cause of his arrest and demanded to see the warrant for arresting him. The police had no warrant to arrest him. Sri Ashok Kumar, present Incharge of O.P. also confirmed it. Sri Satish Chandra Madhav, Office-Incharge Turki O.P. lost his temper on the demand to show a warrant by Anil Pandey. He ordered the constables accompanying him to beat Sri Anil Pandey. Some relatives and villagers gathered on hearing the hue and cry. They resisted the beating by the police. This raised the temper of the Office-Incharge and the other policeman. But watching the mood of the gathered crowd, they (police) dragged Anil Pandey to the police jeep and brought him to Turki O.P. Turki O.P. is hardly 7-8 Kms. from Madhaul. It might have taken ten to twelve minutes to reach Turki O.P. It is unbelievable that Sri Anil Pandey was allowed to get out of the jeep to urinate by the police at a distance of two or three minutes before the O.P. The Office-Incharge himself with his men gave severe blows on the chest and the back of Anil Pandey with the butt of rifles and boots. The villagers were dispersed from O.P. by using force.
[Sri Satish Chandra Madhav was posted earlier in Hathauri P.S. of Muzaffarpur. He had created region of terror there. According to people of the area he used to extort money by falsely implicating people in cases. It is said that he charged five thousand rupees to an FIR].

Anil Pandey was not brought to Dr. Shivaji Rai for medical check-up in the evening of 31st May, 2001. Newspapers published photographs of wine bottles inside the police station. O.P. Incharge and his men might have beaten Anil Pandey during night after drinking. Anil Pandey died during the night in police Hajat.

The police were upset when they unlocked the Hajat and found Anil Pandey dead. The police took Anil Pandey to Dr. Shivaji Rai. He declared him dead. The nervous police took the dead body to the Sadar Hospital, Muzaffarpur. The police returned with the dead body of Sri Anil Pandey to Turki O.P. instead of taking the body to S.K. Medical College, Muzaffarpur for post-mortem. A few villagers went to Muzaffarpur with the body. The news of the incident came to the knowledge of local people and the villagers of Madhaul. Muzaffarpur-Hajipur road was blocked in protest. D.M., Muzaffarpur, S.P., Muzaffarpur, and other senior officials reached Turki O.P. Due to strong public resistance and intervention of the local legislator, S.P., Muzaffarpur suspended Incharge of Turki O.P. and ordered for registering FIR against him. The police in defence registered a concocted FIR in hurry. Anil Pandey had no criminal antecedents according to police. There were no cases pending against him except case No. 18/2001. He used to attend his duty at RDS College, Muzaffarpur. He was not declared an absconder.

Recommendations
1. The suspended Office-Incharge Sri Satish Chandra Madhav should be charge-sheeted within ninety days. The case should be disposed speedily.
2. The affected family should be given dues compensation.
3. The officials who registered a concocted FIR to defend the police should be punished. The innocent villagers named in that FIR should be discharged.
P.S. Some of the people accused of beating Anil Pandey leading to his death (in the FIR by the police) are members of his own family.

-- Surendra Kumar, General Secretary, PUCL Muzaffarpur

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