Murder in Custody: The story of Two Women

 An interesting case of murder in lock-up and bizarre cover up operation by Delhi police, this report published in April 1991 is about the death of two women, 24 year old Shamsheeda and her mother-in-law Rishna. While Shameeda was murdered by her in-laws, Rishna died in the custody of Gokulpuri police station. Shamsheeda'a body was discovered by Gokulpuri police on 10th March in a nala. Police interrogation revealed her in-laws to be responsible for the murder. Gokulpuri police arrested the family on 17th March. However the police declared four members of her family absconding, including her mother-in-law.

Investigation by PUDR revealed that 57 year old Rishna had been arrested on 17th itself and was beaten badly. That evening two policemen took her to a private clinic but she died due to her injuries. They dumped her body in the same nala where Shamsheeda's body had been dumped. On the 18th the police enlisted the help of two men to carry her body to the hospital. No postmortem was conducted, no legal formalities undertaken. Another unidentified man claimed her dead body on the 19th and cremated it at the Electric Crematorium. Though the police did arrest four involved,two absconded. 
 
Despite arrests being made in this case, the report highlights the increasing frequency of police atrocities and the negligible conviction rate. Suggestion of Supreme Court to shift the onus of proof on accused policemen, as in the case of custodial rape, also proposed by Law Commission, is yet to be taken up by the legislation. 
 
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