Theft case accused loses arm in police custody; 3 cops suspended

Bengaluru: Three Karnataka Police officers have been suspended on charges of brutally assaulting a theft accused in custody, leading to the amputation of his arm, police said on Friday.

The three policemen are attached to the Varthur Police station in Bengaluru.

Nagabhushana Gowda, a head constable, B.N. Nagaraj, and H. Shivaraj, both constables, have been suspended pending inquiry. Salman Khan (22), a resident of Varthur, a theft case accused is the victim.

Salman Khan was arrested from his home on October 27, on charges of stealing car batteries. Sources said that in the preliminary inquiry, the accused confessed to having committed the crime and the investigating police team recovered stolen goods from the buyers.

The police allegedly forced him to agree to several other crimes which he had not committed and tortured him.

The Varthur police kept him in custody allegedly for five days till October 31 in violation of the rules. The accused policemen beat him up until Salman Khan’s situation grew worse. They released him on October 31, after he became too sick.

His mother took him home and observed that his arm was swollen badly — almost twice of its normal size. When Salman Khan was unable to tolerate the pain any longer, he was taken to hospital.

The doctors conducted an emergency surgery and amputated his right arm. The doctors told the family that the amputation was necessary for his survival. Salman Khan’s collarbone was affected and nerves at the spot were affected.

Khan’s friends posted and flayed police atrocity on social media which aroused public ire. DCP (Whitefield) D. Devaraj ordered an inquiry into the incident and the investigating officer found the allegations to be true prima facie.

Based on the report, the three policemen are being suspended. National Confederation of Human Rights Organisations Karnataka President senior counsel S. Balan has dubbed the incident as Bengaluru’s version of ‘Jai Bheem’. He also demanded Rs 1 crore compensation for the victim. All India Lawyers Association for Justice and the Campaign Against Hate Speech jointly had formed a fact-finding committee on this case which highlighted the police brutality.

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