Prosecute Parawada Police For Custodial Death Of Lorry Driver

The Human Rights Forum (HRF) demands that criminal prosecution be immediately initiated against the sub-inspector of police, Parawada PS and other police personnel for Saturday’s (December 5) custodial death of lorry driver Pilli Satyanarayana.

An HRF fact-finding team visited Parawada police station on Sunday and spoke with the SI as well as his subordinates and also with family members of the deceased at their home in Kalinganagar in Madhavadhara. The team consisted of HRF State general secretary VS Krishna, Visakhapatnam district president M Sarat, district vice-president P Suryanarayana and member Ramakrishna.

The version of the police that Satyanarayana hanged himself in the police station bathroom at about 10.30 am on Saturday is a total falsehood. It is true that Satyanarayana was arrested late on Friday night for rash and negligent driving near the Desapatrunipalem checkpost and was brought to the police station. An FIR was lodged under sections 279 and 336 stating him as accused and he was kept at the station itself.

The police say they allowed Satyanarayana to go to the toilet on Saturday and they grew suspicious after he did not come back. They checked and found that he had hanged himself. Even this false contention of theirs is riddled with inconsistencies. While the SI stated to the HRF team that Satyanarayana was found dead by hanging in the bathroom, other police personnel said he was found alive and rushed to the hospital but in vain.

The police maintain that Satyanarayana used the plastic string that was tied around a faulty tap in the bathroom to hang himself. This is a ridiculous assertion as it is simply not possible to hang oneself by such a string. Moreover, a hanging cannot take place in that bathroom given the placement of the flush tank. The police informed Satyanarayana’s wife about his demise only at about 5.30 pm.

The police cannot escape responsibility for Satyanarayana’s death. Passing off a custodial death as due to suicide has become a favourite concoction for the State’s police. The police are seeking to close this case as one of suicide.

The mandatory magisterial enquiry is not enough. A criminal case must be filed against the policemen responsible. The HRF demands that the criminal investigation into the case against the police personnel of Parawada PS be done by an agency as independent as possible of the local police. Satyanarayana is a poor Scheduled Caste person and his family members must be compensated by the government with an amount of not less than Rs 5 lakh.

VS Krishna
(State general Secretary)

M Sarat
(Vizag district president)


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