Bengaluru: 22-year-old youth’s hand amputated after alleged torture in police custody; probe ordered

A 22-year-old youth has lost his right arm in a case of alleged police brutality in Karnataka’s Bengaluru district. The youth was allegedly detained illegally for three days in the Varthur police station in link to a theft case, and had to undergo surgery at Bengaluru’s private hospital to amputate his right arm, Indian Express reported.

A resident of Varthur in east Bengaluru, Salman worked at a chicken shop before he lost his job due to the Covid-19 crisis. Last month, he was allegedly picked up by police in connection with the investigation of the theft of a car battery.

On October 27, Salman was picked up near his residence in Varthur around 10.30 pm by policemen in plain clothes, who, he said, came in a private vehicle with a Kerala state registration number, according to the newspaper.

Talking to the Indian Express, who met him at the hospital where he is recovering, the 22-year-old said, “I was taken to the Varthur police station where I was assaulted mercilessly by three people. I confessed to stealing three car batteries. They took me to the people to whom I had sold the batteries. I was again brought to the police station and asked to confess to other thefts which I had not committed.”

According to Salman, his arm was infected after he was allegedly beaten severely in police custody. He claimed that police intensified the torture after his refusal to confess to other crimes he did commit and three cops assaulted him for three days.

Salman was released from police custody on October 31, the Indian Express reported.

“I came back home and took pain killers assuming it was pain. But as days passed, my hand started to lose strength and the injury worsened. My family took me to a hospital in Sarjapura where doctors said the arm had to be amputated,” he said.

Salman, who comes from a poor family background has spent Rs 3.5 lakh on medical expenses.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Whitefield) D Devaraj told the newspaper that he has sought a report from the Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) in the Varthur jurisdiction regarding the incident.

“I was informed that he was detained in a theft case. Information on whether Salman was assaulted and whether he was detained for three days will be known as the ACP is now conducting an inquiry into the incident,” DCP Devaraj said.

Dr K Venkatesh, an orthopedic surgeon who is treating Salman, said, “His infection could have posed a threat to his life. We had no other option but to amputate his arm till the shoulder,” the Indian Express reported.

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