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Puri SP Transferred Amidst Outcry over Two 'Custodial' Deaths in Odisha

Representative Image. (PTI)

Representative Image. (PTI)

The opposition demanded a statement from CM Naveen Patnaik, who also holds the home portfolio, on the custodial deaths and calling for stringent action against police responsible for the death of two youths.

Amid the outcry in Odisha over two alleged custodial deaths, the superintendent of police of Puri district, where one of the incidents occured, was transferred by the government on Friday night, official sources said. Akhileswar Singh will now report to the headquarter, while the superintendent of police of Sambalpur, K Vishal Singh has been been given charge of Puri district, an official of the chief minister’s office said.

The move was taken by the state government, which came under sharp attack from different quarters, including opposition BJP and Congress over alleged custodial deaths in Puri and Biramitrapur of Sundergarh district on Thursday. The issue rocked the state Assembly during the day with BJP and Congress members staging a noisy protest on Friday forcing Speaker S N Patro to adjourn the House several times.

The opposition lawmakers made vociferous demands for a statement from Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who also holds the home portfolio, on the custodial deaths. They demanded stringent action against the erring police personnel responsible for the death of two youths and compensation to the bereaved families. K Ramesh was allgedly hacked to death by the personnel of Baseli Sahi police station in the seaside pilgrim town of Puri after he was picked up on Wednesday night for some criminal cases against him.

Ramesh had a scuffle with the police as he resisted being whisked away by the police. He was taken to the hospital on Thursday and was declared brought dead by the doctors. Sources said there were injury marks on his body and the police cremated his body at Swargadwara in Puri town without informing his family members late in the night on Thursday.

Another person named Tarique Salim had died at Biramitrapur police station in Sundergarh district under mysterious circumstances on Thursday. Congress legislature party leader Narasingha Mishra demanded removal of the SPs of Puri and Sundergarh and strong action against the erring police personnel.

The BJP has moved the Odisha Human Rights Commission on the two deaths, while party national spokesperson Sambit Patra has also moved the National Human Rights Commission. The Orissa High Court on Friday took note of a PIL seeking court-monitored probe into the Puri custodial death, stringent action against erring police officials and adequate compensation to the family of the deceased.


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