Rautahat police have begun investigation into the FIR filed against six policemen, including a superintendent of police, over the in-custody death of a Dalit youth a few weeks ago.

The Niranjan Ram-Bijaya Ram Joint Struggle Committee had filed an FIR against then district police chief SP Rabiraj Khadka, Garuda Area Police Office DSP Gyan Kumar Mahato, Inspector Nabin Kumar Singh, Sub-inspector Birendra Yadav and head constables Munnu Kumar Singh and Hiroj Dhuniya at the District Government Attorney’s Office alleging that the officers had tortured Bijaya Ram to death while in custody.

Panilal Mahara of Jigadiya, Garuda Municipality, had filed the FIR at the government attorney’s office on September 9, a day after police refused to file a complaint. On September 10, a case was registered with the police.

“We registered the case after the attorney’s office registered the FIR and sent it to us for necessary action. Investigation into the case has been initiated,” said SP Siddhi Bikram Shah of District Police Office.

Meanwhile, Sonelal Ram, Coordinator of the struggle committee, has accused the police of trying to protect its officers by refusing to probe into the allegation of torture.

“Though the junior officers have been suspended, police administration is dillydallying to take action against those officers who oversaw and ordered such brutal ways of investigation,” said a Ram.

19-year-old Bijaya Ram, along with six others, were arrested in connection with the murder of 20-year-old Niranjan Ram, of Jigadiya, Garuda Municipality, on August 15.

Bijaya died on August 26 in the course of treatment at National Medical College, Birgunj. Police said he was taken to the hospital after he complained of kidney problems and dies due to medical complications.

Local Dalits of Rautahat have been staging a series of protests since August 27 demanding action against the cops.