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April 8, 2005

Deaf-and-mute protest, allege custodial torture

From: Delhi Newsline, India - Apr 8, 2005

PressTrust of India

New Delhi, April 8: A group of deaf-and-mute people demonstrated outside the Delhi Police Headquarters here today alleging that a youth with speech and hearing disabilities had been tortured in police custody after being picked up on charges of vehicle theft and robbery.

However, police dismissed the allegations and said they had ''solid evidence'' against the youth.

Anuj Kumar (19), son of a former Army man, was taken into custody on January 19 this year on charges of being accomplice to a robbery of Rs 3 lakh and driving a stolen car.

However Anuj's father M.S. Parmar, who joined the 30-odd protestors, alleged that he had been falsely implicated and ''brutally tortured'' in Prasant Vihar police station in North-West Delhi, leaving him unable to walk for several days.

''After Anuj was picked up from my shop, I went to the police station where I was made to sit for hours and asked to pay Rs 80,000 failing which, they said, they won't release my son,'' Parmar said in a statement to JCP, Northern Range, Deep Chand. However, Chand told reporters that the police had ''solid evidence'' against Anuj, who he said was seen accompanying robbers at the time of the incident in November last. ''We have carried out indepth investigations, both by the district and PHQ vigilance teams and found Anuj an accused in both cases,'' Chand said.

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