A 28-year-old man has died after allegedly being beaten up inside lock-up at Khanpur police station in Jhalawar district. The family members of the deceased man accused the police station of thrashing him severely leading to his death.
Police, though, lodged a case under Section 176 (inquiry by magistrate into cause of death) of CrPC and initiated investigation into the matter. However, a judicial probe was later ordered into the matter after demands were raised by the family members, who received support from the local MLA.
In accordance with National Human Rights Commission guidelines on custodial deaths, the SHO of Khanpur police station Kamalchand Meena was suspended and the entire station staff sent to the Police Lines, the Jhalawar SP said. "It is not proven as of now that he died in police custody. As on record, he was not in our custody. However, the inquiry under Section 176 of CrPC by a judicial magistrate is being carried out," Jhalawar Superintendent of Police Kiran Kang Sidhu said.
The victim, Rajesh Meena (28), who was a resident of Raiger Basti in Khanpur town of the district, died on Saturday evening in hospital where he was admitted after his condition deteriorated, Jhalawar Additional Superintendent of Police Rajesh Yadav said. On Saturday noon, the police had arrested Meena under the Arms Act and was later allowed to leave the station upon being served a notice following initial interrogation, Yadav said.
Meena's condition "deteriorated" and he collapsed in the premises itself when he came out of the station following which the police personnel rushed him to hospital where he died on Saturday evening, the ASP claimed. Meanwhile, the victim's family members alleged that Khanpur police station personnel severely tortured Meena that led to his death.
Meena's brother said the 28-year-old was in sound health when he was taken into custody but the policemen later "killed" him. The deceased man was an alcoholic who would frequently beat his mother, wife and other family members, the ASP said.
Meena's mother had lodged the case against her son on Saturday morning, the ASP claimed, adding that Meena was in possession of a sharp weapon when he was arrested. The family members, accompanied by local BJP MLA Narendra Nagar, protested on Sunday morning in Khanpur town demanding a case of murder be lodged against the staff of Khanpur police station and also refused consent for conducting a postmortem.
Following several rounds of negotiations, the protesting family members agreed for the postmortem after they were assured that the SHO would be suspended and action taken against the two police personnel allegedly involved in the beating, compensation of Rs 5 lakh and support for the deceased man's 18-month-old daughter. The family members agreed to a postmortem after they were assured of a judicial inquiry into the matter along with the other slew of demands, the MLA said.
With the entire proceeding being filmed, a medical board carried out the postmortem in presence of a civil magistrate on Sunday afternoon and the body was handed over to the family members.