Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Titlagarh/Balangir, July 1:
Bilal Mohammed, a 20-year old owner of a shoe shop in western Odisha’s sub-divisional town Titlagarh, has spilled the beans on how policemen in Titlagarh and Bolangir subjected Basanta Pradhan, a youth from Titlagarh town, to inhuman, barbaric torture leading to his death.
Bilal said he too was picked up by the police along with deceased BasantPradhan and was subjected to similar custodial torture by the police for buying a stolen mobile handset, but was released two days before Pradhan with a warning not to tell anybody about their torture. He is currently under treatment at the Bolangir hospital.
Bilal said he was picked up by the police from his home along with Basant on June 10 and was taken for interrogation to the SDPO’s office at Titlagarh in connection with the purchase of a stolen mobile phone handset. He has alleged that both of them were brutally thrashed by the cops there.
He said he told the policemen that he had purchased the mobile handset from an unknown youth, but the policemen kept totruring him and Pradhan asking them to reveal the identity of the person from whom he bought the stolen mobile.
Bilal said they stuck to their statement despite being severely beaten by the policemen from Balangir at the SDPO’s office. Later they were taken to Balangir, he said.
The 20-year old said while they got a respite from thrashing by policemen on the night they reached Balangir , their ordeal began the next morning as policemen, one after another, continuously hit them on their lower limbs below their hips by handcuffing their hands and tying them in the police station. He said after the IIC got tired of beating them, a driver of the police station and another policeman beat them in phases.
“Our condition started deteriorating after the first day. After two days, Basant started vomiting with traces of blood in it, Th epolice did not stop beating him even after his condition deteriorated further,” said Bilal.
After warning him not to reveal anything to anyone, police released him while retaining Basant , Bilal said.
While the wounds on his body caused by the police torture are yet to heal, Bilal is a scared person after Basant succumbed to his injuries allegedly caused by the custodial torture.
After Bilal’s revelation, Bolangir police does not have a place to hide.