Main content

The Bhagalpur blindings

How Indian police took the law into their own hands and tortured petty criminals, blinding them permanently. The so-called Bhagalpur blindings came to public attention in 1980.

WARNING: This programme contains distressing descriptions of violent torture from the beginning.

In 1980 police in a small city in the Indian state of Bihar were revealed to be torturing petty criminals. Iknoor Kaur has been talking to several people with first-hand experience of the disturbing events that came to be known as the Bhagalpur blindings. Ram Kumar Mishra was the lawyer who represented the victims, Amitabh Parashar made a documentary film about what happened, and Umesh Yadav was one of the victims who lost his sight at the hands of the police.

(Photo: Victim of the Bhagalpur blindings, Umesh Yadav. Copyright: Amitabh Parashar)

Available now

9 minutes

Broadcasts

The World War Two collection

The World War Two collection

Looking back at almost six years of global conflict, from Hiroshima to the Holocaust

The Witness History podcast

The Witness History podcast

Every programme, to download and keep

The Russian Revolution

The Russian Revolution

From the Bolshevik takeover of 1917 to the break-up of the Soviet Union

When animals made history

When animals made history

Events from history when animals took centre stage

Great moments in Olympic history

Great moments in Olympic history

Stories of endurance, world records and remarkable athletes

African history collection

African history collection

The communities, politics, leaders and events that have shaped Africa

Podcast