Crushed under police boot’, newborn dies in Jharkhand; CM orders probe

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Ranchi: A newborn baby died allegedly after being crushed under police boots during a raid in Jharkhand’s Giridih district in the small hours of Wednesday, prompting Chief Minister Hemant Soren to order an investigation.

The alleged incident, which occurred at Koshodinghi village under Deori police station when police personnel went to a house to arrest two persons in connection with a case, led the opposition BJP to demand suspension of senior officials.

“It has been alleged that a four-day-old boy died when the police went there to execute two non-bailable warrants issued by the court. Prima facie, external injuries have not been found on the baby’s body. It has been sent for postmortem examination,” Giridih Superintendent of Police Amit Renu told PTI.

Once the postmortem report comes, the police will be in a position to say what actually happened, the SP said.

He said the autopsy will be conducted by a team of doctors under the supervision of a magistrate with proper videography.

“Right now we don’t have any information that any policeman had crushed the infant. If the allegation is found to be true, the erring personnel will not be spared,” Renu said.

The SP said four to five police personnel had gone to execute non-bailable warrants against Bhushan Pandey, grandfather of the deceased infant, and another person.

Chief Minister Hemant Soren ordered a probe into the incident after a video went viral in which a person, apparently Bhushan Pandey, is seen alleging that police personnel raided their home at 3.20 am and they opened the door using force when it was not opened.

“I fled and the women also rushed out. The policemen started searching the house when the four-day-old child was sleeping there. The baby was crushed and killed,” the person in the video claimed.

Senior BJP leader and former chief minister Babulal Marandi termed the alleged crime ‘heinous’ and demanded immediate filing of FIR in the case besides suspension of senior officials who did not take immediate action.

“Chief Minister Hemant Soren ji, have some shame. Send a team of senior officials from Ranchi. First of all, get the FIR done and send the policemen who killed the newborn to jail… Otherwise, you will also not be saved from the sin of ‘sarkari hatya’ of a four-day infant,” Maranti tweeted.

CPI-ML MLA Vinod Kumar Singh raised the issue in the Jharkhand Assembly demanding a thorough probe into the incident and stringent action against the police if the incident is found to be true.

“This is horrendous. If found true, the guilty should not be spared. The police raid teams should be sensitive towards women and children and exercise caution,” Singh told PTI.

Ruling JMM legislator from Giridih, Sudivya Kumar, said, “We are waiting for the postmortem report. If it is confirmed that the infant died under police boots, stringent action will be taken against the guilty.”

Congress legislator Irfan Ansari said action will follow if the incident is found to be true.

None of the police officials so far could provide details regarding the exact case against the accused for which the raids were conducted.

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( With inputs from )

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