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HC notice to Odisha govt, CBI in Makhunu Bag ‘custodial death’ case

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack, Dec 10:

The Orissa High Court today served notices to the state government and the CBI in connection with the death of Makhunu Bag due to alleged torture by the police at the Bheden police station in Bargarh district in July 2015.

High-Court

The High Court has directed both the state government and CBI to reply to its notices within four weeks.

Alleging violation of the right to life guaranteed by Article 21 of the Constitution, Makhunu’s younger son Biju Bag through a writ petition has moved the High Court seeking compensation of Rs 20 lakh from the state government for the shocking death of his father caused due to police brutality. He has also prayed for a CBI investigation into his father’s death in the writ petition.

The High Court bench of Justice Dr B R Sarangi today issued notice to the state government on the petitioner’s plea for a compensation of Rs 20 lakh for his father’s death. The bench also served a notice to the CBI on the plea of the petitioner for an investigation into matter as it involved grave allegations against the police.

According to the petitioner, his father Makhunu Bag (54), a resident of Dekulba village under Bheden police station in Bargarh district had gone to Bheden police station on July 17 this year to meet the officer in-charge (OIC) Sunil Kumar Nayak.  He was asked by local gram rakshi Kushal Chhatar to meet the OIC in connection with the whereabouts of his elder son Raju Bag.

Raju was absconding after a rape case had been registered against him by a girl of the same village.

However, Makhunu Bag did not return to his home since then while police claimed that he had returned from the Police station.

On September 4 Sahebani Bag ,wife of Makhunu Bag, went to the office of the Superintendent of Police, Bargarh and filed a petition that her husband had not returned from Bheden police station since July 17, 2015.

The family of missing Makhunu and the villagers of Dekulba gheraoed the Bheden police station demanding return of Makhunu Bag and the OIC gave a written undertaking to trace Makhunu within eight days.

But on being informed by the local people regarding a skeleton lying near Metakani Temple (Panichhapar jungle) under Ulunda police station in Subarnapur district, Makhunu’s family members visited the spot on September 24 and identified the skeleton to be that of Makhunu from the shirt found on the skeleton.

On the basis of a complaint of Biju Bag the Ulunda police registered a case against the Bheden police for murder of Makhunu Bag and disappearance of evidence under sections 302 and 201 of IPC.

Subsequently, the skeleton was identified as that of Makhunu Bag through a DNA test and the police personnel of Bheden police station including the OIC were arrested by the Ulunda police.

Young lawyer and human rights activist Prabir Kumar Das appeared for the petitioner in the case.