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Custodial killing of RTI Activist

Jagdish Golia

Rajasthan

 

HRDA has issued an urgent appeal to the National Human Rights Commission of India on October 16, 2019 regarding the alleged custodial death of RTI activist and human rights defender Mr. Jagdish Golia who was arrested by police of Pachpadra police station, Balotra city of Barmer district in Rajasthan on October 05, 2019. The defender died in a mysterious condition on October 06, 2019 while he was in the custody of police. Mr. Golia is a RTI Activist and was associated with Kisan Shakti Sanghatan, Rajasthan, who has been working on public issues, police atrocities and has also exposed many cases of corruption in the state.

Sources informed that Mr. Golia had a lot of sensitive documents related to the police and the police had detained him in the past. Mr. Jagdish Golia had a complaint pending in Pachpadra Police Station, and had first approached Mr. Subhash Chandra Khoja, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Balotra where he was unheard. After this, when he went to Pachpadra police station, he was booked under Section 151 CrPC at police station and was arrested, which was followed by assault and torture at night in the police station.

According to the police, Mr. Golia, Mr. Gopal Singh and Mr. Mahendra Singh were arrested over a land dispute within their family on October 5, 2019 under section 151 of Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC). They were presented before the Executive Magistrate at the Tehsil Office for bail on 06 October, 2019, which was granted to them. It was then that Mr. Jagdish Golia complained he was not feeling well, and following the Magistrate’s directions, he was taken to the Nahata Hospital where he was declared brought dead.

As per media reports, the statement of Barmer SP Mr. Sharad Choudhary about Mr. Golia’s mother Mrs. Varju Devi’s complaint implies police cover up. Station house officer (SHO) of the Pachpadra police station, Mr. Saroj Choudhary had been alleged to not ensure treatment to Golia’s internal and external injuries, which she said led to her son’s death. Mrs. Devi noted these injuries were sustained when Mr. Golia was beaten up while working on his farm on October 05, 2019. Local RTI activists and human rights organisations further challenge the police version of the events and suggest that he died due to the brutal torture committed by police officers. It is alleged that the state police is trying to cover-up his torture and death by insisting that he died due to internal and external injuries suffered by him at his farm.

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