Sunday, March 29, 2009
POLICE TORTURE PUSHES TO ABJECT PENURY:RATANDEEP GUPTA
I am 36 years old and had been a practising lawyer. I live in S 11/24, Choukaghat, which falls under the jurisdiction of Jaitpura police station in Varanasi. My elder brother, Dr. Amardeep Gupta, has a clinic adjoining my house. We were leading a quite a normal life but suddenly, on 28th December 2007, Municipal Corporation demolition squad accompanied by a posse of policemen a barged inside my brother’s clinic to demolish the encroachment, without any prior notice. Municipal Corporation officials informed that the clinic would be demolished as encroachments are being cleared in the city. My brother tried to plead to the demolition squad that his clinic is in authorised space and it does not fall within the purview of encroachment. But it all fell in the deaf ears. Municipal officials asked my brother to walk out of the clinic as they wanted to demolish it. At that moment, I was in the court and my brother phoned me. I rushed to my brother’s place, when I reached there I saw the squad had demolished a portion of the clinic. Still, we could not know who launched this demolition drive.
Next day on 29th December 2007 at 11 am, city magistrate escorted by a posse of policemen led by Chetganj and Jaitpura Circle Officers and Municipal Corporation demolition squad reached the clinic to demolish the remaining portion. I and my brother showed them the legal documents pertaining to the clinic and the approved map of the locality. Seeing that they howled on us in unison, ‘neither we want to see any papers nor listen to you’. Police officers directed the constables and other subordinates to push both of us to the standing jeep. When we were approaching the jeep, 4-5 policemen encircled us and started raining incessant blows with lathis (long cane tipped with a metal blunt). One among them had been was continuously hammering lathi blows on one side of my leg. It continued till the lathi had broken.
However, kicking and thrashing by the police was in most savagery manner. Due to continuous blows my right feet started dangling and sustained grievous injuries in my left arm, shoulder and other parts in my body. After incessant beating, police wanted us to board the three-wheeler tempo. My brother could board it but I failed to do as I could not stand on my feet.
Then, a policeman physically dragged me to the Vikram tempo. I was quite frightened seeing myself bleeding profusely. Police took us to Jaitpura police station. Constant beating made me thirsty and my throat parched so I could not breathe easily. It seemed as if I would die instantaneously. I requested for a glass of water from the police, and then they responded that they would give me tea instead of water for quenching our thirst. Then I told them at least to give me a cup of tea but they failed to provide that even. Even in that situation, police continued abusing us and used nauseating epithets to humiliate us. I was writhing with pain and not in proper frame of mind. After being informed, my wife and Bhabhi (elder brother’s wife) reached the police station. Police shamelessly abused them and drove them away and didn’t allow them to meet us.
Till 2.00 pm noon, due to loss of blood I was unconscious and police scared by that got me admitted to Kabir Chaura Hospital. When I was conscious I was worried as it came into my mind that I won’t be able to stand on my own feet. My wife came to meet me at the hospital. Seeing me dejected my wife generated confidence in me. As the Government hospital lacked the facilities, so I was shifted to Lakshmi Medical Centre where Dr. SN Dubey at Lakshmi Medical Centre operated me. After my discharge from the hospital I was completely confined to my bed for three months. A metal rod was implanted in my right leg but still I suffer from excruciating pain. Again I was operated by Dr. Shakil Ahmed, who took the bone from my hip and grafted it onto my fibula. Still, I suffer from excruciating pain and it’s difficult for me to walk. Intermittently, pus oozes out from my leg and doctor had advised surgery to replace the metal rod implanted in my right leg.
Police savagery let loose on us, which would be etched in my mind for years together. This makes me quite despondent. The abusive language of CO Chetganj still reverberates in my ears, who said, “Beat him continuously and break his leg to make him physically handicapped, so that his life is spoiled forever.”
If anyone is at fault then legal actions should be initiated against them but not to be beaten mercilessly to make them physically incapacitated. Later we came to know that police had shown their anger suspecting us of stone pelting. Still now we could not know who indulged in pelting stones during the demolition drive. When police was beating us, we did not run away. Still that rolls in my mind like a film, which I am unable to forget it. Today whenever I see police officials I seethe with anger and express my hatred against them.
Police booked us under different sections of IPC and lodged criminal cases against us. We were granted bail by the Court. We were quite enraged by the fact that police, who unleashed unbound savagery on us, rather framed criminal case against us. Our family had to spend over Rs. 1 lakh on me and my brother’s treatment.
Criminal case and police torture on us had damaged lot of our credibility in the society. Financially we were pushed to shambles. My legal practice suffered a setback. I was so mentally broke, that whenever I try to stand on my feet, excruciating pain makes the police brutalities fresh in my mind. Coupled with that, society’s disdainful attitude makes our life horrible. The incident has so deeply affected us that we are hesitant enough to take any initiative. In our matter, police terrorised so that we are not dare to raise any voice against them.
While talking to you, it seems to us that there are people with whom we can share our pain. We are happy that some people are there to lend their helping hand to us. Lawyers and doctors extended their support to us. We want to regain our social prestige. We want that whatever false charges police had framed against both of us should be withdrawn.
Now I am unable to walk and had to stop practicing in the Court. My wife working as a teacher in private school had to quit her job as she had to take care of me. I need immediate surgery but precarious financial condition impedes that. The risk of right leg being amputated looms large on me, if the operation is not done immediately.