BJP leader Chitra Wagh has written a letter to Maharashtra home minister Dilip Walse Patil citing delay in bringing closure to the case of Suman Kale’s custodial death. Kale was a social worker from the Pardhi community who allegedly committed suicide after illegal detention and severe custodial torture.
Stating in her letter, Wagh said, “It’s 14 years now that the fight to secure justice for her is going on. Finally, the Hon. High Court on Jan 14, 2021 passed an order to bring the case to a conclusion in six months and give a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the kin of the victim. However, the government neither pursued the case nor allotted the ordered compensation. It’s an extremely serious thing and leaves room for doubt on the intentions of the government.”
Who was Suman Kale?
Suman Kale belonged to the Pardhi (hunter) tribe and was often upset with the manner in which the police used to pick innocent members of the community for questioning, whenever there was a case of dacoity. She decided to turn an informer for the police when one of her family members was picked up. She was quite instrumental and provided vital inputs to the forces about organised dacoities and related offences executed by members of her community. She also played a role in the surrender of 100 criminals from the Pardhi tribe.
Suman Kale Custodial Death Case
A resident of Burudgaon village in Ahmednagar, Kale was a police informer. However, it is alleged that the Ahmednagar police falsely implicated her in a gold stealing case. On May 12, 2007, she was allegedly tortured to death in the custody. The police, however, denied the allegation of custodial torture and cited suicide as the reason for her death. An inquiry report in the case revealed that Kale died of multiple wounds on her body inflicted by the police.
The state CID began investigating the case two years after the incident took place. CID’s investigation revealed Kale was picked up from her home in Burudgaon and illegally confined and tortured severely to get a confession of possession of gold in the case. Investigation also pointed out that she consumed poison in the police custody as she could not bear the torture. The police also tried to cover up the matter by admitting her to a private hospital and not a government one after the attempt to suicide was brought to their notice.