Crime and Accident

Chhattisgarh: Man dies in police custody, three cops suspended

Chhattisgarh: Man dies in police custody, three cops suspended

New Delhi: In a suspected case of custodial death, a 35-year-old man died at a police station in Chhattisgarh’s Janjgir-Champa district, following which three security personnel were suspended. The victim, Satish Kumar Narange, who was rounded-up following a complaint of an electricity department official at Mulmula police station, died on Saturday, Janjgir-Champa Superintendent of Police Ajay Yadav told PTI.

As per the complaint, Narange, a native of Nariyara village, had created ruckus and damaged some articles at the electricity department office at Mulmula, he said. After being brought to the police station, the victim complained of uneasiness following which he was shifted to a hospital in Pamgarh where doctors declared him brought dead, the SP said.

Refuting the allegations that Narange died after being beaten up by the police, the SP said the postmortem was being conducted under the supervision of three expert doctors at Pamgarh and the exact cause of death could be ascertained after it.

However, SHO of Mulmula police station Jitendra Singh Rajpoot and two constables have been suspended following the incident, he said.

Besides, the SP in a letter to the Chief Judicial Magistrate, has urged to appoint a judicial officer to probe his death. Another police officer on the condition of anonymity claimed that Narange was heavily drunk and started vomiting after he was brought to the police station.

Seeing his deteriorating condition, police personnel took him to Pamgarh community health centre where he was declared brought dead, the official said. Narange’s family members, however, alleged that he was brutally thrashed by the policemen. The residents blocked the Bilaspur-Janjgir-Champ road demanding action against the guilty. They claimed that Narange had gone to the electricity department to lodge a complaint regarding no power supply in the village due to some technical problem with a transformer from past few days.

Instead of taking up his complaint, they alleged that the department officials called up the police, who then brutally thrashed Narange thus leading to his death.

Security has been stepped up in the region, said the SP.

Meanwhile, opposition Congress staged a dharna in front of Chief Minister Raman Singh’s official residence here today demanding his resignation over Narange’s death. It also announced that the party will launch a state-wide agitation tomorrow as a mark of protest against the incident. The Congress leaders were arrested during the dharna but later released.

“As many as 47 Congress leaders and workers, including Pradesh Congress Committee Chief Bhupesh Baghel, were arrested under the prohibitory section, from the Chief Minister’s house. However, they were later released unconditionally,” SHO, Civil Line police station, Virendra Chaturvedi said.

“The man belonged to a Scheduled Caste community. The incident has exposed the anti-Dalit and anti-poor face of the ruling BJP in the state,” state Congress spokesperson Gyanesh Sharma told PTI.

“He had just gone to register a complaint about breakdown in power supply system of the village but the corrupt government functionary could not tolerate it rather he was brutally lynched to death,” he alleged.

Accusing the Chief Minister of failing to maintain law and order, Sharma said Singh should take moral responsibility for the incident and step down immediately. The Congress leader demanded that a murder case should be lodged against the guilty police personnel and the electricity department officials and compensation be given to Narange’s family.