Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur is once again in the headlines due to her recent interaction with Rajat Sharma.

The details about the torture techniques used by Maharashtra ATS are spine-chilling. They used Chinese torture techniques, as pointed out by retired Major Ramesh Upadhyay who faced similar brutal attacks from Mumbai ATS officials.

“I was hung upside down, and they kept on beating me until I fainted. The police wanted me to confess something that I did not do. Male officers tortured me, beat me with a belt on hands and put them into the hot salt water. I was confined in a dark room during rest of the time and was not even in a position to hold a glass of water in my hand after 24 days of torture while in the illegal detention. Polygraph, Brain mapping, and Narco test were conducted thrice on me. I was forced to wear a burka while going for tests. They thought it would be easy to torture a woman and get a confession, so I was an easy target. They wanted me to confess my role in blasts and blame RSS for the same for establishing their Hindu terror theory. I told them that they could kill me, but I won’t give a wrong confession. Digvijaya Singh used the ATS to settle his enmity with me,” narrated Sadhvi Pragya, during the recently aired Aap Ki Adalat episode.

She named Suvarna Shinde, Hemant Karkare, and Param Bir Singh as officers who kept on beating her mercilessly. Singh is currently posted as Maharashtra ADGP (Law and order) after recently getting promoted as per CM Devendra Fadnavis’s order.

Congress leader Digvijaya Singh’s role needs to be investigated

The senior Congress leader has himself stated several times that late Hemant Karkare was in touch with him and kept him updated about the Malegaon Blast Case investigation. Singh was neither the central home minister or had anything to do with law and order in Maharashtra. He was not a part of any special committee to investigate terror attacks or law and order issues. Thus, the agencies should investigate why Singh had asked Karkare to be in touch with him and share confidential information about any case.

Ex-ATS officer supported torture allegations and claimed officers had even murdered two suspects

On August 19, 2016, former ATS officer Mehboob Mujawar approached the Solapur chief judicial magistrate’s court. He submitted strong evidence to prove that two of the Malegaon blast accused, Sandeep Dange and Ramji Kalsangre were killed by the ATS officers during interrogation. He also claimed that the Maharashtra police officials disposed of their bodies with those of the 26/11 attacks victims. In January 2017, the NIA also recorded Mujawar’s statement, but no progress has been made in the case so far.

Even in Dilip Patidar case, his family members have accused the ATS officers of killing him during interrogation. The CBI probe in this matter came to a standstill during the Congress regime because the Maharashtra home department did not give a sanction to the CBI for completing the investigation against its officers.

Are all men equal before the law?

“When Col. Purohit recently approached the Supreme Court with a petition requesting an investigation into his illegal detention and torture, the honorable court said it wouldn’t do the same as it may impact the ongoing investigation. However, the same Supreme Court was acting as a magistrate court in Koregaon-Bhima accused arrest case, and went on to examine if their arrests were appropriate or not. The SC summoned the case diaries even after knowing that police is investigating the matter. In such a situation, the petitioners are directed to approach the magistrate court, and the SC has done so in the past. According to procedures, the magistrate court has the first authority to ensure that the agencies adhere to all the checks and balances about arrests,” said the advocate who shared his opinion on the condition of anonymity.

“Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur and other accused persons’ physical appearance clearly showed how much physical torture they faced back then when they were presented in the courts. Why didn’t our honorable courts take suo motu cognizance?”

The center should consider forming a SIT to look into the matter

As the CBI and NIA have failed to conduct a proper investigation in the torture and murder matters involving senior IPS officers, a third party investigation can prove to be appropriate. A SIT needs to be formed, consisting of retired judges and investigating officers with impeccable service record. All the accused IPS officers from Maharashtra should be asked to step down until the investigation reaches its conclusion.

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The Trial and Hanging of Raja Nand Kumar: First Judicial Murder in British India

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Contributed by The Article staff