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Sangrur | Probe ordered after Dalit woman alleges police brutality in illegal detention

The woman, 42, who earns a living by working as a maid in Sangrur, alleged that she was kept naked at the police station, not provided food or water and brutalised by the police personnel led by Khanauri station house officer (SHO), inspector Malwinder Singh

Punjab state scheduled caste (SC) commission has ordered the Sangrur police to conduct a probe into the alleged illegal detention and torture of a Dalit widow.

The woman, 42, who earns a living by working as a maid, had appeared before the commission during a Lok Adalat held at the district administrative complex on Thursday. She alleged that she was taken into illegal detention on March 22 this year, two days after a theft took place at an upper class household where she works.

She alleged that she was kept naked at the police station, not provided food or water and brutalised.

“Khanauri station house officer (SHO), inspector Malwinder Singh, took me to the police station and thrashed me. A female cop forcefully removed my clothes, and hit me with sticks on the directions of the SHO. They had locked me up in the police station without food and water. They released me the next evening after my brother, nephew and panchayat members intervened,” the woman told the commission.

Commission member Chandreshwar Singh Mohi, said, “The victim said the SHO had tortured her so as to get her to confess to a crime she did not commit. I also called the SHO to the Lok Adalat and asked him to present evidence of his innocence, but he failed to do so.”

“The village sarpanch and panchayat members have testified to the atrocities faced by the victim as she was released after their intervention. I have also recorded the statement of the SHO. After hearing both sides, I have directed Sangrur police to conduct a probe and submit its report to the commission,” said Mohi.

Denying the allegations, inspector Malwinder Singh said, “I was also present before the commission when the woman made these allegations. All her claims are baseless.”

Bhagwan Valmiki welfare society president Raju Gagat, said, “I went to the police station for the release of the woman after her relative approached me. We had also lodged a complaint with the then SSP but no action has been taken by the police so far. Therefore, we approached the commission.”

Deputy superintendent of police Moonak Baljinder Singh, said, “The victim had given a complaint in this regard and investigation is already underway in the matter. The victim’s employers had accused her of the theft.”

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