NIA suspends officer in J&K over custodial torture of suspect, orders high-level probe

The anti-terror probe agency NIA has taken a stern view of an incident of alleged torture at its Jammu branch where a suspect was brutally beaten up by a DSP-rank officer. A high-level probe has been ordered to look into the charges.

In a Facebook post, a man named Harjeet Singh wrote that youth was mercilessly thrashed during questioning. It is suspected that the man could have a role in the RS Pura narco-terrorism case.

According to NIA, the officer, DSP Chekpal Sherawat, had tried to coerce a response out of the suspect as he believed the suspect may have hidden the consignment. The suspect was let off after several hours of detention and questioning at the NIA office.

Sources in NIA said the officer has been suspended and a high-level inquiry has been ordered. An NIA team headed by a senior officer in Poonch has been rushed to Jammu to look into the case.

DSP Chekpal Sherawat is originally from the Delhi Police force, who was inducted in NIA a decade ago. The senior officer said, “There have been several complaints against him. He now faces disciplinary action, including dismissal.”

Sherawat was a Sub-Inspector in Delhi Police who went on to join the NIA. An officer said, “He took advantage of the recruitment rules of NIA and got absorbed as an inspector and later was promoted as a DSP whereas his colleagues are still SI. He got posted to Jammu in September last year. This is said to be his first case at the Jammu branch.”

NIA Director-General YC Modi has suspended Chekpal Sherawat and ordered a high-level probe.

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