‘Ganatantrik Adhikar Suraksha Sangathan, Odisha’ condemns death of Bari Pidikaka, a Dongaria tribal in judicial custody. He died on 24th June, just few hours after his admission, at SCB Medical College, Cuttack.But his family members were informed on 25th June, 2017 after one day of his death by the local police. His son Dabru Pidikaka received the body on 27th June at Cuttack travelling 600km from his village. His body was cremated on 28th June 2017.
Bari was an under trial, confined in Rayagada district jail for last two years. Bari Pidikaka belonged to the village Tahali of Munikhola Panchayat coming in Muniguda Police Station of Rayagada district.He was 67 years old. If Bari Pidikaka was seriously ill, then his family members could have been informed much earlier either through local police or through his advocate. We got to know from activists of “Niyamgiri Surakhsa Samiti” that when situation became worse,then only he was admitted in Rayagada District Medical. But the doctor referred him immediately to Cuttack Medical College. Bari died there.
Death of Bari is not one incident. Death of poor tribals,dalits and others while in judicial as well as in Police custody has been rising in Odisha. On 19th June, just few days before death of Bari, Abhaya Singh died in Burla Medical College, Sambalpur. Abhaya (25years) belonged to Haripur village of Bardhaman district in West Bengal.
Abhaya and 40 other members of his village had come to Sambalpur town of Odisha in 3rd week of May for selling toys and other items at road side. On 30thMay 2017 Sambalpur police picked up Abhaya Singh and two others, Ajay Singh and Khata Singh, suspecting them of stealing mobiles. Their family members tried from pillar to post to know about their whereabouts. As a last resort when they went to the Courtand the SDJM Court intervened then only three of them were produced before the Magistrate on 8thJune, 2017 that is after 7 days of their arrest on charges of selling narcotics. Three of them were injured and were unable to walk.The police had beaten three of them,the family members alleged. Abhaya was admitted in Burla Medical College on 10th June 2017 by the jail authority for treatment. He died on 19th June 2017.
Both, Bari Pidikaka and Abhaya Singh belonged to poor families. Both of them died due to negligence of jail authorities of their respective jails. In case of Abhaya Singh, police torture at the time of arrest is additional complaint which should be investigated. Often it comes in the media that due to lack of judges number of cases in various layers of the Court has been increasing. In this case, the worst sufferers are poor people of this country who are neither getting bail nor are facing trial for a longer time. This is the reason why Bari Pidikaka languished in jail as an under trial for such a longer time.
Here we demand,
1) Both officials of Rayagada and Sambalpur jail should face criminal chrages of murder for negligence of duty for which Bari Pidikaka and Abhaya Singh died while in custody at respective places.
2) In case of Abhay Singh proper investigation should be made of police torture and action should be taken against those police officials.
3) Compensation of Rupees five lakh should be given to both the families.
4) There should be provision in law for speedy trial of all cases so that poor people should not take the burden of and there should be time frame of disposal of cases. If it is not met then the ‘accused’ should be granted bail in a natural process.
Ganatantrik Adhikar Suraksha Sangathan, Odisha
Dr. Golak Bihari Nath, President
Deba Ranjan, General Secretary