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Monday, November 30, 2020

Andhra family accuses two cops for harassment in a final video suicide note

Human deaths due to police brutality and harassment have been an imminent threat that is being outraged in the country. A week ago, it was the father-son duo case, Jayaraj, and Bennicks, who suffered brutal police torture, and later they were murdered. This week Sheik Abdul Salam has set up the camera in which we can see his family in order to tell the country about why he is recording this suicide note.

Shivering voice and teary eyes, Abdul Sheik Salam sets the frame to record a final video of him and his family speaking of the police harassment he has been handling for a long time. His wife and daughter smile by instinct as they see themselves on the camera. But eventually, she starts to cry while their children are looking solemnly at the camera. Abdul goes on record, after thinking for a moment about what to speak, in his house in Nandyal, Andhra Pradesh. He talks about having no involvement in the crimes which the police have implicated him with.

All four members of the family, Abdul Sheik Salam, his wife Noorjahan, daughter Salma and Dada Khalandar his son, were found dead on Wednesday afternoon, by the Government Railway Police of Kurnool District. A circle inspector and a head constable were arrested for allegedly harassing Abdul Sheik Salam repeatedly for months when the video surfaced days after the family’s death.

What is the reason behind this suicide note?

Abdul Sheik Salam had been working in a jewelry store in Nandyal, where an incident of theft was reported a few months ago. According to the reports, the owner of the store suspected Abdul Sheik Salam of having stolen the gold, and he was then sent to jail. His relatives stated that, even after he was released on bail and started to drive a rented auto, he was continuously harassed by the shop owner and by the police.

Even after that gold theft, Abdul was continuously harassed and beaten badly by the police until he was bleeding. His relative further said: “He was out on bail and when he would go to the police station to sign every month, he was abused very badly every time.” Also, according to the reports, a few days ago, a person named Bhaskar Reddy reported theft of Rs. 70,000 in his bag. The police officers alleged that this Bhaskar had traveled in Abdul Salam’s auto and that he stole the bag with the help of his associates. The police abused Abdul Salam verbally and expected him to return the next so that they can take him to Vijayawada.

What did Abdul speak about in the video? And where were the bodies found?

In the video with his wife and kids, Abdul Salam said: “I didn’t do anything wrong. 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.” On 4th November Abdul and his family committed suicide. Abdul’s wife Noorjahan was a private school teacher, their daughter Salma was in 10th grade and son Khalandar was in 4th grade. Their bodies were found in Kowlur village in Panyam Mandal, which is close to Nandyal.

The police spoke inappropriately of Abdul’s wife and to him and he was unable to bear the constant abuse at the police station.

There’s an inquiry in this case which is initiated, and CM YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has ordered the authorities to investigate as soon as possible. Sankha Brata Bagchi, Inspector-General of Police, and IPS officer Arif Hafeez are vigorously conducting a serious inquiry.

Somasekhara Reddy, the Circle Inspector, who was suspended earlier is now arrested for his involvement in the family’s suicide, along with Gangadhar who is the head constable. The Director of General Police, Gautam Sawang has said that anyone who will be found guilty in this case will not be spared.

Former Chief Minister and leader of the opposition N Chandrababu Naidu described the incident as a result of the growing police brutalities on minorities in the state. He has held YS Jagan Mohan Reddy’s government responsible for this shameful tragedy.

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