Jaipur: Rajasthan Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria on Tuesday admitted that Rakbar Khan had died in police custody after visiting the spot in Alwar where he was attacked by a mob to inquire about the lapses in the case.
Speaking to reporters, Kataria said, “According to the evidence collected, it looks like a custodial death. Further investigation is underway”. The state government has ordered a judicial probe in the case, he announced.
The minister also said that he had met the family members of the victim and promised strong action will be taken against the culprits. He also accepted that police had delayed taking Rakbar to the hospital and said they should not have taken cows to the shelter first.
The police so far arrested three people suspected to be involved in the attack on Rakbar, even as a video surfaced on Monday purportedly showing an assistant sub-inspector admitting to his mistake for alleged delay in taking the victim to hospital.
As the civil society and opposition parties mounted their pressure the Rajasthan Police set up a four-member committee to probe allegations against the policemen and within hours, the panel ordered suspension of the then officer in-charge and transferred three others to police lines.
A dairy farmer from Haryana's Mewat district, Rakbar was beaten up by seven people on Friday night. The autopsy report released on Tuesday said that he had died of shock and injuries from a "blunt weapon or object".
The 28-year-old was suspected to be transporting two cows and their calves when the attacked happened. Khan was taken to hospital three hours after the police was first informed. The policemen instead took the cows first to the shelter and only made their way to the hospital afterwards. Rakbar was declared dead on arrival.
Special DGP (law and order) NRK Reddy has also accepted that there “was an error in judgment in trying to respond to the situation”. The preliminary investigation suggested there was an error in prioritising the situation, he had said, but claimed that policeman were not involved in beating the victim and it was not a case of custodial death.