When Mohammed Muqtar, a car driver from Dhoma in the Ranga Reddy district of Telangana went missing on 15th Feb 2015, little did his family know that their lives would change forever.
Muqtar (20) had allegedly eloped with an 18-year-old Hindu girl* of the same village but were shunned as they belonged to different communities.
The girlâ€™s parents filed a case against Muqtar in the Dhoma police station, and three days later, she returned home while Muqtar was still missing.
Worried about her son, Muqtar's mother Raheema Bee gave a complaint to Prem Kumar, the Sub Inspector of the Dhoma Police Station alleging that her son had been murdered by the girl's parents.
Muqtar's family also alleged that the girl, upon her return, had given a statement, wherein she said that the couple ran away with mutual consent but she was later seemingly forced by her family to write a second conflicting statement, which resulted in kidnapping and rape cases on the missing Muqtar.
Raheema was determined to find her son and kept running from pillar to post, first approaching police higher ups and finally the State Human Rights Commission, who admitted her complaint and asked for a response from the police.
Here is where things really started going downhill for the family.
"When she approached the SHRC, the Dhoma police immediately took Muqtar's family into custody including Raheema and harassed them to withdraw their complaint - even physically beat them up," claims Amjed Ullah Khan, a politician with the Majlis Bachao Tehreek (MBT) who is currently helping the family with the case.
The alleged police harassment troubled Raheema to such an extent that she picked up a bottle of pesticide that was kept in the police station, and gulped it down.
Raheema Bee died one day later at the Osmania General Hospital in Hyderabad. The AP State Minorities Commission (APSMC) took cognizance of the custodial death.
"The family has said that the Raheema Bee consumed poison on the premises of the Dhoma police station. They have stated that they were harassed at the police station by a sub inspector...The deceased's family has shown marks on the body which they claim are due to police harassment," the APSMC chairman had told Times of India.
Raheema's dying declaration was not taken at the Afzalgunj police, whose limits the hospital fell under, and they in turn directed the Dhoma police to do so. The latter however, did not do so, and the declaration was never taken.
Later, TOI spoke to the district SP M Srinivas who maintained that Raheema Bee had not consumed poison at the Dhoma police station but outside the residence of a ZPTC member.
"No police officer has tortured the victim's family. The deceased's daughter and son-in-law were involved in a quarrel in which they assaulted members of the locality. We only brought them for questioning," he added.
The Civil Liberty Monitoring Committee (CLMC), a human rights organization based in Hyderabad, concluded that "Sub-Inspector Prem Kumar is a notorious officer who made the whole family suffer through his harassment and torture, both mentally and physically. Due to his continuous torture, Raheema was forced to commit suicide; she was unable to bear the insult and humiliation of her family," it said.
(A member of the CLMC with the family of Raheema Bee)
The fact finding committee also added that "There were a lot of corruption charges on the Sub-Inspector and the locals said that he has taken one lakh rupees from the girlâ€™s family members."
Almost six months after Muqtar went missing, his brother Mohammed Mustafa is now fighting the case. All the family wishes for is some form of justice and compensation for the troubles that they went through.