Farewell salute with probe file

Patna, Jan. 31: Jamui deputy superintendent of police Mohammed Abdullah knew well this was not the right way to bid farewell to his senior. But he acted like a thorough professional.

After a customary salute to recalled Sheikhpura superintendent of police Babu Ram, he had to read out thus: "Sir, I am the investigating officer of the case lodged against you with the Barbigha police station in Sheikhpura district."

Babu Ram, apparently worried over developments taking place in the alleged youth torture case, listened to Abdullah patiently for about half-an-hour and then asked him to visit next time. Abdullah, a 38th batch DSP, stood up and saluted the 2009-batch IPS officer again before leaving for Patna.

That happened on Monday, just a few hours before Babu Ram was accorded farewell ' after he was asked to report to the state headquarters ' at his official residence, where the youth, Mukesh Kumar (20), was subjected to alleged third-degree torture on January 24. Abdullah was carrying a photocopy of the FIR lodged against Bau Ram, liquor trader Mantu Singh and some unknown persons.

Today, Abdullah said it was embarrassing for a police officer to question his senior. "But you have to do it and that too with full honesty and integrity," he said, adding that he also appeared before the high-level team, which was constituted to probe the allegations.

Abdullah was assigned to investigate the case (No. 21/13 of Barbigha police station) on the directive of inspector-general of police (Bhagalpur zone) Jitendra Kumar. "There is no problem in an SP being interrogated by a DSP-rank officer," said Anil Kishore Yadav, deputy inspector-general (Munger range). Additional director general of police (headquarters) Ravinder Kumar said a DSP-rank officer has been appointed investigating officer in view of seriousness of the charges. Abdullah said he was yet to formally interrogate Babu Ram. Abdullah visited Sheikhpura Sadar hospital today.

Late this evening, Mukesh, who had been admitted to Patna Medical College and Hospital, was referred to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi. "He took the Rajdhani Express with his family and a doctor," said Patna superintendent of police (rural) Vinod Choudhary.

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