Bokaro, Jan. 14: A truck driver, allegedly tortured for over eight hours by a team of mobile policemen in Bokaro for not stopping on order, died in hospital late last night.
A magisterial inquiry has been ordered. Mohammad Minhaz Khan (30), a native of Dobi in Gaya district, was ferrying a consignment from Delhi to Bokaro on January 10. He had also decided to visit his in-laws at Chas the next day. It was past midnight when Minhaz and his brother Sohrab Khan hit NH-23.
Near a remote stretch of Balidih, sub-inspector Tarun Kumar and his men ordered them to stop. But, fearing that the men in uniform might just be highway robbers in disguise, Minhaz only stepped on the pedal and sped towards the steel city, 10km away. The mobile team gave chase.
The truck was, finally, intercepted at Naya More in the heart of Bokaro. Minhaz was allegedly dragged out by the collar by the sub-inspector and his juniors, and thrashed till he collapsed. He was taken to Bokaro General Hospital, where he died at 8.45pm yesterday.
The news triggered vehement protests from drivers and members of transport associations this morning.
Seeing the situation spin out of control, the accused sub-inspector allegedly pressured Sohrab to give a written declaration to the officer in charge of City police station that Minhaz died of injuries sustained at Naya More when he accidentally fell off his truck.
Sohrab is missing from Bokaro since.
Protesters ridiculed the police version, saying an experienced driver like Minhaz would never fall off his truck and sustain fatal injuries. "Besides, look at his body. It is all black and blue ' tell-tale marks of thrashing, which resulted in death," said one of them.
Sensing the gravity of the incident, SP Kuldeep Dwivedi today prodded deputy commissioner Sunil Kumar to order a magisterial probe. Executive magistrate Mahavir Singh will conduct an inquiry after a three-member team of doctors finishes a post-mortem that will be video recorded.
The deputy commissioner has promised to request the state for a CID probe if the autopsy report suggested fatal torture or the magisterial inquiry was not satisfactory.
Minhaz is survived by his 24-year-old widow and their toddler daughter.