Telangana: Dalit Woman Beaten to Death by Police in Addagudur

Three days ago, Mariyamma, a domestic worker in Telangana was allegedly picked up and taken to the local police station where she was beaten and killed.

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Representative image

Three days ago, a woman named Mariyamma, working as a domestic worker in a house in Addagudur, Telangana was allegedly picked up and taken to the local police station where she was tortured and killed by six “policemen in plain clothes”, according to her daughter. The incident was allegedly in connection with a theft case where she was reported by her employers, registered at Addagudur police station. She was rushed to hospital after she collapsed at the police station, and was declared dead. A custodial death case has been registered.

Her family has accused the police of torturing and killing her. The police however have denied the same. According to Yadadri DCP, Yesumma (refering to Mariayamma) along with her son was brought to Addagudur police station in a theft case on Saturday to further probe the theft case. According to the DCP, while waiting in the police station, she fell unconscious and was rushed to the hospital where she was declared dead.

Her family’s statement however, shows the gaps in the story, as they mentioned how she was actually picked up by the police a day earlier, on Friday, and was kept at the station, where she died of custodial torture.

Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka has been vocal on the  incident and has demanded that strict action be taken against those responsible for the lock-up death of Mariyamma, a dalit woman who is a native of Komatlagudem, Yadadri-Bhongir district.

“Without heeding to the pleas of Swapna (her daughter), they tortured Mariyamma ruthlessly.” He has demanded that action be taken against those responsibe for the “lock-up” death, including those trying to “hush up” the incident. He has stated that they should be booked under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

Jignesh Mevani, MLA from Vadgam, Gujarat also highlighted the incident on twitter:

Vikramarka has stated that the SC Cell of the State Congress will send letters to the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) and other government bodies seeking justice for Mariyamma’s family.

The incident casts the spotlight on the systemic issue of custodial torture and police impunity in India, which directly targets marginalised communities. In an article we have written on Custodial torture and police impunity, it is shown how complaints filed before the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and other statutory bodies, on custodial assaults or deaths have rarely resulted in convictions for police persons indulging in such violence. Although Bills such as The Prevention of Torture Bill, 2010 and The Prevention of Torture Bill, 2017 have been drafted, they have not been enacted into laws by the legislature.

Read: Custodial Torture: A Problem of Police Impunity

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