PSI Put On Leave Reserve
The kin of Kodar Gamar, the 65-year-old tribal man accused of slaughtering an ox who died in police custody, has alleged that Gamar was brutalized by police, first at their house and then at a market place, before being taken to the police station. Kodar, a resident of Kotda Vira Falo village of Poshina taluka of Sabarkantha district, died in police custody on Thursday night, at Civil Hospital in Ahmedabad.Meanwhile, Sabarkantha police have taken a police sub inspector with Kheroj police station, A S Rabari, off duty and posted him on `leave reserve’ at the district headquarters. The Range IG of Gandhinagar, under which Sabarkantha falls, R G Brahmbhatt said that as judicial inquiry is mandatory in such cases, they have written to the district judge and judicial magistrate to conduct an inquiry.

Khumu Gamar, Kodar’s son, said the cops had beaten his father mercilessly at their house. “Two policemen held my father and the PSI, Rabari Sahab, beat him with a stick. We watched helplessly as the cops kept thrashing my father even while he was being taken to the police station through the market place,“ Khumu, a farm labourer, said.

Khumu also alleged that the PSI had demanded Rs 4 lakh in return for not treating his father harshly in police custody. “My father called me up on Wednesday and pleaded with me to come to the police station with Rs 4 lakh. He told me to sell our farm to raise the money to give the PSI or the cop would kill him. He also said that the PSI had slapped him and he was feeling giddy after his head was banged on a wall. The phone was disconnected after that. The next day we heard that his condition was critical and eventually he died on Thursday.“ he said.

The family conducted Gamar’s last rites in his village on Saturday.

R B Brahmbhatt, Gandhinagar Range IG, however, denied that there had been any police brutality in the case. About the allegations of Gamar’s family, Brahmbhatt said, “They have all the right to have such apprehensions. But we are very clear about the case. Brain haemorrhage was the cause of death.“

Kin of other accused also allege torture by police

The kin of Lebabhai Bhambhi, one of the five accused of cow slaughter, said that the police had beaten him mercilessly.Bharat Solanki, Bhambhi’s son-in-law, said that Bhambhi had gone to collect the skin of the dead animal, but as the police saw him there, they started questioning him about the incident.Although he said that he had a skinner’s license, the policemen did not listen to him and made him an accused in the case, Solanki said.