SASARAM: Can Class I and LKG kids torture and assault a woman to death? Or, to be more liberal, can children of this age collude with their grown-up kin to execute a killing in their household? Indian Penal Code (IPC)’s Section 82 says: “Nothing is an offence which is done by a child under seven years of age.” But either Kaimur police have not read the rule book or they care a damn about it.
In yet another instance of sham police investigations making ridiculous conclusions in criminal cases, Chaniya Khatun, 6, and her sister Soni Khatun, 5, along with six other family members have been held guilty by police of having killed an 18-year-old woman.
With Kaimur superintendent of police P K Srivastava agreeing to the Bhabhua DSP Sanjay Kumar’s supervision note and ordering the arrest of the accused, the eight, including the two girls, are likely to be arrested “any moment now”. “I have already procured a warrant of arrest against the eight accused,” said R K Singh, station house officer of Sonhan police station.
It was the Sonhan PS which lodged an FIR in the case on September 2 this year after the court of Bhabhua chief judicial magistrate (CJM) forwarded a complaint case to it for investigation. In his complaint, filed in the CJM’s court on August 18, one Shah Mohammad of Khair village alleged that his 18-year-old daughter Akhtari Begum, who was married to one Md Tajuddin of Pawandi village in Rohtas district, was killed by her husband and in-laws on July 26 for dowry. As it happens in such cases, all the in-laws were named as accused.
On September 24, Bhabhua DSP Kumar along with the investigating officer visited Pawandi and supervised the case. He also interrogated the minor sisters and arrested the girl’s father-in-law. His supervision note concluded that the accusation appeared to be true as those named accused had tortured and assaulted Akhtari to death for dowry. Akhtari was the wife of the brother of Chaniya and Soni, who study in a primary school.
Srivastava just okayed the DSP’s findings and ordered the arrest of the accused. In case they elude police, their property will be attached, he further ordered.
Ironically, Srivastava on Monday evening told TOI: “Aisi galtiya hote rahti hai (Such mistakes keep happening)” if the children are named accused and witnesses also corroborate the accusation. When told about IPC and asked about police wisdom, he said: “We will do something about it now.”
A senior lawyer and member of the Bihar Bar Council described the police action as illegal. “Nor only does it border on incredulity, but it also reveals an insensitive face of the state police,” said Akhauri Mangala Charan Srivastav.
No this is not a one-off case of its kind. Earlier this month, this newspaper reported how an SP found the accusation true against all the members of a family in a case of kidnapping that never took place. So, all of them, including an octogenarian, were jailed for months.
In another case, an alleged murderer fooled police into arresting two innocent persons for the crime he had committed.
Taking cognizance of the two cases of “violation of rights of innocent persons by police” the State Human Rights Commission has sought a reply from director-general of police Anand Shankar.
Source: The Times of India