09 Nov 2020: Two cops arrested for allegedly driving Andhra family to suicide
Nandyal CI Somasekhar Reddy and head constable Gangadhar, posted at One Town station, were arrested after Chief Minister Jagan Reddy intervened in the matter.
The youngest in the family was merely ten years old, while his sister was 14.
Here's what happened.
Beginning: Salam worked at jewelry shop, was arrested on theft charges
The heart-breaking story concerns one Abdul Salam, 45, who worked at a jewelry shop in Nandyal. Earlier, after a theft at the shop, Salam was arrested.
Later, he was released on bail but the shop's owner and policemen continued harassing him.
"When he would go (to the police station) to sign every month, he was abused very badly each time," a relative claimed.
Series of events: He was accused of theft once again
After leaving the job at the shop, Salam started driving a rented auto. However, when a man reported about his missing bag, police held Salam responsible.
The police, his family alleged, harassed the 45-year-old over the incident. This forced him to end his life, along with his wife, Noor Jehan, and minor kids.
Their bodies were found near a railway track, sparking statewide outrage.
Video: Didn't do anything wrong: Salam
Before taking the extreme step, Salam recorded a video, that also featured his wife and kids.
"I have nothing to do with the theft that happened in the auto, or in the shop. I am unable to bear the torture. We have no one to help us. That's why I hope at least my death will bring peace of mind," he purportedly said.
Aftermath: After case got attention, a high-level probe was ordered
The police found the video after the family's demise on November 3, prompting Andhra Pradesh Director General of Police D Gautam Sawang to order a probe.
IGP Sankha Brata Bagchi and senior IPS officer Arif Hafeez were tasked with the investigation.
The family's allegations about harassment were looked into. They had also claimed that cops spoke ill about Salam's wife.
Statement: DGP confirmed that accused cops harassed the deceased
About the case, DGP Sawang said, "Based on the preliminary investigation, the CI of Nandyal was suspended from duty. The arrests were made after it was found during the investigation that they had harassed the victim."
CI Reddy and Gangadhar were booked under IPC Sections 323 (Voluntarily causing hurt), 324 (Voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means), and 306 (Abetment of suicide).
Details: Chandrababu Naidu slammed his successor, demanded strict punishment for guilty
Meanwhile, targeting Jagan Reddy's government over the case, Chandrababu Naidu said the incident shows minorities are being treated unfairly.
"Those responsible for this incident should be severely punished. The government should let go of its reckless attitude towards Muslim minorities," he tweeted yesterday.
However, reports said several minority organizations are satisfied with Reddy's intervention that led to the arrest of the accused.