Murders in Police Custody: A Concerning Trend in India

According to information submitted MHA in February 2023, there has been a nationwide increase in the number of deaths while under the custody of the police of over 60% over the past three years and 75% over the past two years
Murders in Police Custody: A Concerning Trend in India

New Delhi. Three days after mobster Tillu Tajpuriya alias Sunil Balyan was fatally stabbed by four members of an opposing gang inside Tihar prison, a video of the horrific attack surfaced on social media on Thursday.

A CCTV camera inside the high-security jail recorded the attack, which was captured on tape. The attackers were seen using bed sheets as a rope to descend from the first level and then charging into Tajpuriya's cell on the ground floor to attack him.

The footage, which is an important piece of evidence in the horrifying murder case, shows the first assailant coming down around 6.10 am, followed by the others.

Tajpuriya enters the scene from the opposite end while wearing a red T-shirt and black shorts. He hurries inside a cell and pulls the iron door shut as soon as he spots the first attacker.

Three of the attackers gathered outside Tajpuriya's cell after they had all by this point gathered on the ground floor. The fourth assailant, who is somewhat apart from the other gang members, is stopped by someone.

The attackers succeeded in breaking into the cell and yanking Tajpuriya outdoors because the door cannot be locked from the inside. They lead him to the common area where they repeatedly stab him with improvised weapons.

In the video, other people can be seen attempting to dissuade the assailants. This gruesome incident happened in the police presence and at a place that is considered the largest complex of prisons in South Asia.

According to a police investigator looking into the case, criminal Manjeet Mahal has been recognized as one of the men wearing white, as reported by PTI.

The video depicts another individual being warned by the attackers as they attempt to stop the attack by another person wearing a grey T-shirt. Tajpuriya is repeatedly stabbed by the assailants with pointed objects until the blood on their hands and the surrounding ground is spattered. The assault was over in just two minutes.

Tajpuriya was allegedly stabbed "92 times" before being slain early on Tuesday by four rival Gogi gang members Deepak alias Titar, Yogesh aka Tunda, Rajesh, and Riyaz Khan. The four attackers, who were housed on the prison's first level, cut a grill made of iron and descended using bed sheets.

"We moved the court on Thursday to seek permission to question the four inmates, which was granted," another police official added.

According to officials, the Special Cell of the Delhi Police would look into the issue because it has the necessary experience to handle gang-related cases. According to them, the special cell would also look into the murder of mobster Prince Tewatia, a close friend of Lawrence Bishnoi, which occurred in Tihar jail last month.

The crime site has been examined and evidence has been gathered by a police squad. Four improvised weapons, the accused's blood-stained garments, and the bed sheets have all been found on the scene.

Since 2016, Tajpuriya had been housed in Tihar's prison. Due to his involvement in the gunfight that resulted in the death of gangster Jitender Gogi in the Rohini court in 2021, he was facing danger to his life.

Days after Tajpuriya’s murder, the Delhi prison department on Friday suspended 7 staff members in connection with the fatal stabbing in the Tihar Jail premises. A senior prison official said that they have conducted a departmental inquiry into the incident.

The report was received on Friday and lapses were found on the part of nine staff members. Out of them, seven- three assistant superintendents and four wardens have been suspended. We had a meeting with Tamil Nadu Special Police Force officials and they have also agreed to take departmental action against their personnel,” PTI quoted the officer as saying. The Tamil Nadu Special Police provides security on the jail premises.

Tajpuriya’s Murder raises a lot of questions about the security and system of the largest jail. Last month Atiq Ahmed was killed in police custody, all of these incidents direct us to a point of security in the presence of police and security personnel. Such murders happen in a blink of an eye in front of the whole police force and security forces. This brings light to a number of loopholes and lapses in the system.

Who was Tillu Tajpuriya ?

The notorious Tillu gang was commanded for more than a decade by jailed mobster Sunil Balyan, also known as Tillu Tajpuriya, who was battered to death on Tuesday inside Tihar Jail, allegedly by rival gang members. He is thought to have planned the murder at the Rohini gunfight in December 2021 from within the prison.

The Gogi gang leader Jitendra Mann was shot dead inside the Rohini courtroom when a hearing was taking place in December 2021, according to allegations made on Tillu. After the guys were apprehended, Tillu and his friends were charged with organizing and carrying out the murder.

The criminal was from Tajpur Village, a gathering place for neighborhood gangsters. He was connected to notorious gangsters Neeraj Bawania, Sunil Bali, Cheenu, and others, according to the police. He was detained in 2016 after being connected to more than 11 murder, Arms Act, extortion, and other crimes. He was additionally charged with violating the Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act (MCOCA) by the Special Cell of the Delhi Police.

Murders in Tihar

Delhi’s Tihar Jail, South Asia’s biggest prison complex is now in the news for controversies. It has more clarifications to give than before, as cases of custody murder are surfacing almost every second month.

Last month, gangster Prince Tewatia was murdered in Tihar Jail and marks of being stabbed eight times with a knife-like object were found on his body.

In 2021, The Print News website reported that not one or two but seven dangerous gangsters have been running their own gangs from Delhi's Tihar Jail.

According to information submitted in the Rajya Sabha by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in February 2023, there has been a nationwide increase in the number of deaths while under the custody of the police of over 60% over the past three years and 75% over the past two years.

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