Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, March 20
Less than two years after a woman died allegedly while in police custody at the Dugri police station in Ludhiana, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has directed the Punjab Director-General of Police to constitute a special investigation team, headed by additional director-general of police-rank officer to look into the matter.
Setting the three-month deadline, Justice Arvind Sangwan also made it clear that the other team members should not be below the rank of additional deputy-commissioners of police and assistant-commissioner of police.
The direction came on a petition filed by Mukul Garg against the State of Punjab and others. Claiming to be the victim’s fiancé, Garg was seeking directions for investigation or inquiry into the matter after the registration of an FIR for the alleged custodial death of Ramandeep on August 5, 2017.
The Bench was told that Ramandeep died in police custody during the investigation of an FIR registered in August, 2017, for cheating, theft, forgery, criminal conspiracy and other offences under Section 379, 420, 465, 467, 468, 471, 201 and 120-B of the IPC, besides the I-T Act at the Dugri police station.
The petitioner’s counsel, Anmol Rattan Sidhu, submitted that the petitioner and Ramandeep Kaur had been staying together for the past about 10 years. On August 3, 2017, police officials posted at the Dugri police station entered the house of his paternal uncle and forcibly took them to the police station.
On the night of August 4, 2017, both were beaten up and tortured. As a result, Ramandeep died while in police custody, Sidhu added
The police, instead of informing the petitioner or his relative, made up a case that Ramandeep committed suicide in the police station, whereas she died due to excessive torture at the hands of the police officials.
The counsel for the state, on the other hand, submitted that he had instructions to say that the government was ready to constitute a special investigating team to conduct further investigation into the matter.