In his letter to the human rights commission, the accused claimed that he is innocent and the police have tortured him to confess to the crime.
James Kumar Ray's letter:
"On Dec 21, I parked my bike and went out to buy chips for my son, when a man approached me and asked for directions. While I was talking to him, another man grabbed me. The other person pulled out a gun, and threatened to shoot me if I raised an alarm. They then handcuffed me and bundled me in a car.
They threatened to shoot me and dump my body under the bridge if I didn't confess to the murder. In Bhubaneshwar, I was forced into a hotel room and chained. I was then subjected to sustained beating. I was beaten throughout our journey to Bangalore.
They handed me a script which said that I entered Payal's apartment, slit her throat, and repeatedly stabbed her, before fleeing. They asked me to memorise the script. Soon after recording my confession the police reduced the torture and on Jan 11, I was produced before the court and remanded to judicial custody.
I have been brutally tortured and implicated in false case by a group of police officers. I am ready to cooperate with an honest officer and swear that I never entered the house of Anant Vai and Payal di on Dec 17.
They (Payal and her in laws) have been my benefactors. I called her Didi, how could have I killed her?"
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