On the 27th of june, 2015 at around 8pm, a migrant worker from Bihar who worked on the lathe, Kuldip Prasad Singh had an altercation with a fruit seller while buying mangoes worth 50 rupees at 14 number street of Vishwakarma Industrial area. The vegetable seller and her husband initially started screamed then beat up Kuldip Prasad Singh, they also called several people who are well known goons of the area, who bashed up Kuldip singh so badly that he fell down and was writhing in pain.
Following this, some people from the crowd called up his wife who sent her brother Purshottam who is also a mazdoor working in the same area, to the site of violence. According to him, when he reached he saw the PCR was also standing there, which was also a witness to what happened and had prevented the brick bats further refused to take Kuldip Singh to the hospital. Purshottam took his brother in law to the Satellite hospital of the city, Kanwatiya Hospital, denied him admission, even refused to provide the minimum first aid stating that there was no doctor available in the hospital so they should go to the SMS. They could have referred him and got him dropped at the SMS with the help of an ambulance, which was refused.
At the SMS Hospital, the doctors on duty at the emergency, only did a clinical examination, didnot get any X Rays done and said that he had a mere stomach pain, which would become okay, once he took the medicines and sent him back home.
Kuldip Prasad Singh was brought back home at 2 am of the 28th. According to his wife and brother in law, Kuldip, was in such severe pain that he was howling and crying all night. The family realising that it was something serious, decided to take him into a private hospital, called Jyoti Hosiptal, in their neighbourhood. The first X Ray itself showed, perforation of the Colon, that they advised the family to take Kuldip back the the SMS Hospital, as he needed urgent surgery.
On 28th evening, Kuldip Singh was taken back to the SMS Hospital which admitted him this time in the Trauma Ward and on the 29th June, conducted the required surgery. He was later sent to the ICU where he died in the middle of the night of 29th and 30th June leaving behind in a state of bewilderment three children and a wife and several relatives who were co-workers with him.
On the 29th itself Purshottam and other Mazdoors had gone to the Vishwakarma Thana and lodged an FIR at the police station. The Thana incharge SHO Deepak Khandelwal had promptly confirmed with the PCR van whether it was at the 14 number street that evening. He also got the police to pick up the two vengetable vendors. Pushottam and others were clear that the other goondas who had beaten up Kuldip should be arrested too, as it was their beating which ended up causing grievous injuries.
On the 30th the SHO Deepak Khandelwal, without going to the Hospital did the inquest while sitting in the police station. He got 5 mazdoors to sign on some papers and they were told to go to the mortuary of the SMS hosiptal and get the body of Kuldip Singh. The ambulance that got the body of Kuldip Singh, dropped it at the Vishwakarma Police station and left. The cremation ground being right next to the Thana, saw the gathering of all his mazdoor friends and other Bihari migrant workers who had decided to take the body from there to the cremation ground.
While some mazdoors went to enquire from the SHO whether other culprits had been arrested, while some mazdoors outside the police station in rage also shouted slogans.
Senior NFIW activist and national council member of the CPI Nisha Sidhu was going from there to attend an NFIW meeting in the Vishwakarma area. She was accompanied by her son and nephew. When she saw a dead body and several mazdoors she stopped to
enquire what had happened.
She also saw her senior colleague from the AITUC Prem ji who works with the informal sector mazdoors. She started enquiring about it when suddenly she saw the SHO Deepak Khandelwal come out with a lathi and came rushing towards her, abusing her. She knew if she did not stop him then he would beat her up, that she told him that he could not touch her. Calling two women constables to take her in, he abused her, used cuss words and said, I would have beaten you black and blue had you not been a woman.
The woman constables dragged her and took her in, as Nisha resisted. In the meanwhile DEepak Khandelwal and his constables were mercilessly being beaten up that one even fractured his hand and several ended up with bruises.
Nisha states, that while she was being dragged AITUC leader 60 year old Premji was also being beaten up with lathis, as he had protested the use of cuss words by Deepak Khandelwal for Nisha. When she went in she states, that she saw that the police had brought her son inside and he was being made to face the wall and off and on the police banged his face against the wall and then two police men caught hold of his shoulders while others also beat him up. She tried to help him, when she also saw, other mazdoors being dragged in and were being beaten.
She tried to use her phone to make a call to her colleagues to share what had happened, that suddenly the SHO who saw grabbed her phone, in the process of her resisting, he nicely brushed his hands against her breasts, pushed body and grabbed her hand and then the phone.
However, she had managed to get the message across. The colleague Jalpa, immediately called Kavita Srivastava and the Commissioner of the police Janga Rao. Kavita too called up Janga Rao, who promised to send the ACP West to enquire.
According to Nisha and Premji, despite the ACP coming the SHO deepak Khandelwal, continued to beat up the Mazdoor and his use of cuss words and abuse of Nisha also continued, till the ACP almost cajoling him to stop almost forcibly took him away to another room.
Nisha and her son and Premji were the first ones to be released and the 6-7 mazdoors a short while later.
The deep insensitivity of the SHO also came through the fact that the body of Kuldip Prasad singh was place inside the PCR van, and dropped outside the cremation ground, in the heavy downpour. The entire attitude was as if Kuldip’s was an abandoned body that had no takers. He also did not treat the dead with dignity leave alone the living.
Since the cremation had to happen and the family needed looking after Nisha and other women’s activists didnot meet any authorities that day.
This beating up and constant sexual abuses hurled at Nisha, led to an outrage amongst all unions and women’s group representatives and other activists. As this kind of treatment of women’s activists and that of trade union workers is not heard off. Several central trade unions, the AITUC, CITU, BMS. HMS.,INTUC, RCTU, Construction and General Workers union, all came together along with the network of women and other people’s organisations. A collective decision was taken that a campaign for justice for Kuldip Singh and against the custodial violence of Nisha, Premji and other workers would be launched till our demand would not be met. A core group was constituted and a plan made. for the last three weeks we have been protesting. See chronology of public action and other activities below.
The demands in relation to the custodial violence of activists and Mazdoors are as follows:-
- Arrest of erstwhile Vishwakarma Thana S.H.O., violator of law Deepak Khandelwal.
- Investigation be carried out by C.I.D (crime branch)
- He should be immediately suspended and investigations under sec 16 of the Rajasthan C.C.A. Rules should be undertaken.
- The entire staff of Vishwakarma Thana be changed.
- Since the majority of the Vishwakarma area consist of workers who are mostly migrnats, hence there is a requirement that there be a sensitive police incharge and the entire staff be sensitised.
Demands related to the case of murder of Kuldeep Prasad Singh:-
- Section 302 be added in F.I.R No. 233/2015, dated 29th June 2015
- The matter be investigated by C.I.D. Crime Branch.
- All those involved in the murder be arrested.
- Investigation be carried out against against police officials sitting in the P.C.R Van because they neither prevented Kuldeep Prasad Singh from getting assaulted nor did they admit him into the hospital.
- Doctors from S.M.S. Hospital and Kanwatia Hospital providing emergency services on the night of the 27thbe charged with criminal negligence as well as disciplinary action be taken against them for denying Kuldip Singh the right to admission and treatement.
- Because Kuldeep Prasad Singh died due to negligence of police as well as hospital authorities. As a result, the Government should give the deceased’s wife Renu Devi a compensation of 20 Lakhs along with a job to one member of the family. Also, the three children going to school be given proper upbringing.
Chronology of the action jointly by groups undertaken till now.
On 1st June : IG Janga Rao, the Jaipur Police Commissioner was met with and an application stating what happened and that an FIR be lodged was presented to him by Nisha. Incidentally an entire group of 40 persons waited from 4pm to 8.30 pm when he arrived to meet us. Till 9.15 the women’s grops representatives tried to convince him why he needed to lodge the FIR urgently and get the SHO arreted, along with suspending him frmo the police service.
They also demanded the arrest of the main accused in Kuldip Singh’s matter and also action against the policemen PCR who could have prevented the battering of Kuldip and also refused to take a seriously injured Kuldip to the hospital. The IG assured us that the ACP west, would enquire into the whole thing and meet Nisha and others.
On the 2nd June When the nobody contacted Nisha and others a delegation of women’s groups representatives, mazdoors and other activists went and met the Home Minister, Gulab Chand Kataria. He heard us and assured us that he would look into the matter and get the FIR lodged.
Following which on the 3rd of June the ACP west, got the medical examination done of all the those who had been injured by the lathis.
On 5th June, a press conference was organised by women’s groups and trade unions placing our demands regarding the police commissioners role in protecting the SHO. Telephonically the Police Commissioner told us that they were investigating the matter. Although, we told the IG that that pre FIR investigation was going against the law, as there were enough judgements of the SC that the FIR should be lodged immediately.
On the 6th of June, once again women’s groups representatives met the Home Minister, during his time to meet the public, between 8am and 9 am. His office had been called and the time was taken. So rude was his behaviour that he even refused to acknowledge their presence and told them that it was not his job to lodge an FIR. .
On the 6th of June a delegation of all central trade unions, led by Mr. DKChangani, AITUC met the Police Commissioner and demanded justice, along with arrest of all accused in the case of Kuldip and criminal cases against Kuldip Singh.
On the 7th of June, A delegation of women’s groups met the DG Police Mr. Manoj Bhatt who was polite, but nothing happened nevertheless.
On the 11th of June a press conference Mr. D Raja, Member of Parliament and the national secretary of the Communist Party of India and Ms.Annie Raja, national council member of the CPI and General secretary of the NFIW came to Jaipur met the Mazdoors and also addressed a press conference. Mr Raja and Annie Raja, reiterated the demands for arrest of all the murderers in the case of the murder of the Mazdoor and immediate lodging of the FIR, arrest and removal of Deepak Khandelwal the erstwhile SHO of Vishwakarma. They also demanded action against the police and hospital authorities, who denied immediate medical attention. They also talked of the misrule and of the Vasundhara Raje Government including the rights of migrant workers who are treated as second class citizens in Rajasthan. They demanded her resignation for her over all corruption and other instances of misrule.
On the 12 of June: News report state Mr. Janga Rao statement where he states there will be no FIR as it was minor scuffle and skirmish, the SHO would only be subjected to disciplinary proceedings. There would be no criminal case.
On the 15th June : A Protest was organsed by several Delhi groups led by NFIW in Delhi outside the Resident Commisioners office of Rajasthan, Bikaner House. A memorandum signed by several people including sitting MPs was handed over to the RC.
17th June: The Police Commissioner, Mr. Janga Rao, called us for talks. Told us that he had started disciplinary proceedings against Deepak Khandelwal and that lodging an FIR demoralises the complete police force. We are firm on our stand. That nothing short of an FIR and subsequent criminal proceedings, including arrests and charge sheet.
19th June, DCP West called us as the VKI Thana which came under his jurisdiction. We were meeting him the first time. He was shocked to hear some of the details. He assured us that action would be taken.
19th June: In the evening an FIR was lodged at the VKI thana. number 266/2015, u/s 323, 341, 504, 509 against the erstwhile SHO Deepak Khandelwal. Suresh the present SHO given the duty to investigate.
21st July : A Joint protest has be planned for today by all Trade Unions and women’s groups demanding justice for Kuldip Prasad. Singh and arrest of Deepak Khandelwal, at Shahid Smarak, outside the Police Commissionerate. It will be also a Sharddhanajli Sabha for the deceased migrant worker.
Trade Unions: DK Changani ( AITUC), M L Yadva ( AITUC), Guman Singh ( INTUC), Mukesh Mathur ( HMS), Ravindra Shukal (CITU), RajBihari Sharma (VP BMS), Ram Pal Saini ( RCTU), Harkesh Bugalia ( Construction and General Workers Union) and others.
Women and Human Rights Organisations: Aruna Roy( MKSS),. Renuka Pamecha ( Women’s Rehabilitation Group), Mamta Jaitly ( Vividha), Prem Krishan Sharma & Kavita Srivastava ( PUCL), Lad Kumari Jain & Bina Agarwal ( RUWA), Sumitra Chopra & Kusum (AIDWA), Dr. Malti Gupta & Nisha Sidhu( NFIW), Komal Srivastava (BGVS), Rakshi (CFAR), Sawai Singh, (Smagra Sewa Sangh), Mukesh Goswami and Kamal Tak ( RTI Manch), .
Numbers that you may need
Nisha Sidhu: 9414443607
Kavita Srivastava: 9351562965
DK Changani : 9414047134
IG Janga Rao: 9413344445
Pankaj Kumar singh: Additional DG (Crime) : 09772011111
Manoj Bhatt DG police: 9413346555
Home Minister: Gulab Chand Kataria: 2228741, 2224499