Vizianagaram custodial death: HRF calls for credible investigation by independent agency

Human Rights Forum (HRF) has called for a credible investigation into the custodial death of self-employed electrician Betha Rambabu in the precincts of the Nellimarla police station on February 11.

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  15 Feb 2022 3:07 AM GMT
Vizianagaram custodial death: HRF calls for credible investigation by independent agency

Vizianagaram: Human Rights Forum (HRF) has called for a credible investigation into the custodial death of self-employed electrician Betha Rambabu in the precincts of the Nellimarla police station on February 11.

HRF said the probe must be conducted by an independent agency.

A three-member HRF team visited Vizianagaram and Nellimarla and elicited facts surrounding Rambabu's death. The HRF team spoke with family members of the deceased and the police. The team also visited the Nellimarla police station.

Police said Rambabu was a habitual offender. He was arrested on February 10 for stealing battery invertors from the office premises of the Employment Guarantee Scheme in Nellimarla. He was kept in the record room at the police station where he bolted himself inside. The next day morning, police said they broke in and found him hanging. He was rushed to the hospital but did not survive.

"Based on our fact-finding, we do not find the police version of events plausible. There are several inconsistencies and contradictions in the police narrative that cast aspersion on their account. These doubts can only be clarified, and the truth determined if there is an investigation by an agency that is not part of the district police apparatus. Such an investigation must pinpoint blame and prosecute police personnel accordingly. We do not want a whitewash inquiry that usually ends up in a few suspensions and then the matter is closed," the HRF said

K Sudha, HRF AP State general secretary, said the family of Rambabu must be compensated substantively. "This would be in accordance with judgments of the Supreme Court in respect of custodial deaths," Sudha said.

DIG (Visakha Range) LKV Ranga Rao has suspended Sub-Inspector of Nellimarla, B Ravindra Raju, and constable G Raghunadha Rao for negligence in discharging the duties in connection with the custodial death. However, the police are waiting for the post-mortem report to know the exact cause of death.

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