Suicide of Dalit Youth: PP Urged To Oppose Anticipatory Bail Of Accused

The Human Rights Forum (HRF) demands that the Public Prosecutor (PP) argue strongly for cancellation of ‘anticipatory bail’ granted to the accused in the suicide case of a Dalit youth in Kovvur. Investigation of the case must be handed over to an independent agency.

A two-member team of HRF spoke with the family members of the deceased and the police to elicit facts. B Mahendra, a painting worker from Dommeru village in Kovvur mandal of East Godavari, and associated with the YSRCP, was implicated in a case pertaining to the destruction of a banner in the village by the upper caste leaders of his party. He was called to the Kovvur police station on November 13, 2023 upon the instigation of YSRCP functionaries Mudunuri Nagaraju and B Sateesh from the same village.

Mahendra was humiliated in the station for the alleged destruction of a banner put up by these two ruling party upper caste leaders in the village. Despite no known suspects, he was verbally abused in the police station by sub-inspector, Bhushanam, at the behest of the leaders. The youth was released from the station after his relatives interfered. The same night at around 11 p.m., Mahendra attempted suicide by consuming weedicide. He was first taken to the Kovvur Government Hospital and later to a private hospital in Chagallu. From there he was shifted to a private hospital in Rajahmundry, and from there to a different hospital in the same town. As his situation worsened, he was moved to Vijayawada. On the way to Vijayawada, he was admitted to Ashram Hospital in Eluru as his situation deteriorated. He was subsequently brought dead to Manipal Hospital in Tadepalli.

While he was at the hospital in Chagallu, his dying declaration was recorded by the Kovvur Police. His declaration was recorded not before a judicial magistrate, but before a doctor of the hospital, even when the police had ample time to bring in the magistrate. His declaration was also mis-recorded intentionally, and though he was in a position to read and sign it, he was made to give his thumbprint affirming the declaration that was not his to begin with.

The police booked the aforementioned two leaders and Bhushanam under the IPC and SC/ST(PoA) Act. The accused took advantage of this mis-represented declaration and availed a favorable order against their arrest. It is pertinent to mention that the Public Prosecutor who is supposed to represent the victim as per the law did not oppose their plea for protection.

Mahendra’s family members are also apprehensive of the investigation by the police as the Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) is a close relative of one of the accused. They have petitioned the government to entrust the investigation to an independent agency.

HRF seconds this demand and also calls upon the Public Prosecutor to argue for the cancellation of the anticipatory bail of the accused.

Y Rajesh
HRF AP State general secretary

G Rohith
HRF AP State secretary


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