Family refuses to cremate Dalit ‘fake encounter’ victim


Patna : The family of a Dalit youth in Bihar who was killed by police in neighbouring Jharkhand says he was innocent and not a criminal and that they will not cremate his body till a second autopsy is conducted to find out the truth.

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Dadan Kumar Ram's body has been embalmed and is being kept in a coffin.

The youth, who was in his 20s and was a resident of Jawahar Tola locality in Ara town, about 60 km from here, was killed last week in Jharkhand capital Ranchi by police who said he was involved in a bank robbery.

But Dadan's family claimed that he was killed in a fake encounter. "He was a victim of a fake police encounter as he was shot at point blank range," said Gorakhnath Ram, his brother.

Ram, who is an assistant commissioner of income tax, told IANS that the family would not cremate Dadan till justice was delivered.

"There is no question of cremating him as per Hindu rites till the second post-mortem is performed. The report of the second post-mortem will prove that it was a fake police encounter," he said.

Dadan's sister Manibala demanded that either the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) or a court direct a second post-mortem of Dadan's body. "Only that can prove my brother's innocence. He was not a criminal. It was a fake encounter," she said.

"We have filed a petition with the NHRC and will file a writ petition in the Patna High Court for an autopsy," Ram said.

Dadan's family has rejected the police claim that Dadan was involved in the theft of Rs.10.53 million from a Syndicate Bank branch in Ranchi June 7.

Soon after the bank robbery, police launched an operation to nab the culprits. Within a few hours police killed three youths, including Dadan, in an encounter.

"Dadan was a gentle, hard working student preparing for the civil service exams in Ranchi. There was no report of a criminal past," said Ram.