Police drag 92-yr-old to court, rapped 7 Jan 2008, 0028 hrs IST,TNN
BHADRAK (ORISSA): The 92-year-old widow could barely stand when she faced the judge after being accused in a dowry harassment case. But one look at the frail woman was enough for the sub-divisional judicial magistrate of Bhadrak to take the police to task for high-handed behaviour.
Sources said the officer in-charge of Bainsada police station had arrested Badan Devi (92), a widow, and her 40-year-old daughter Minatee of Ichhapur village on Saturday. The police action followed an FIR lodged by the woman's daughter-in-law, Santilata. Police did not even bother to make special arrangements for the old woman. They virtually dragged the tottering "accused" to court along with other criminals.
But the judge, Rekha Prasad, did not take kindly to this and promptly granted bail to the woman. Hailing the judge's decision, the widow's lawyer, Dillip Mohapatra, said: "Many thieves, dacoits and murderers are roaming freely and police fail to do anything. But the same police have no compassion for a nonagenarian and virtually invalid widow."
According to police, Santilata (35) lodged the FIR against her husband Bisikesana, a businessman, mother-in-law Badan Devi and nine others in July 2007. She told police that her husband and in-laws regularly tortured her for dowry and Badan Devi even tried to set her on fire once.
Police said the Bhadrak police ordered a probe based on Santilata's complaint. A circle inspector, who conducted the investigation, found the 92-year-old widow guilty. She was then arrested. But the events at the court has left the police red-faced. Bhadrak SP R N Patra said, "I will personally investigate the case."