UP: Man dies under police custody; protesters vandalise vehicles, attack cops

Gonda: An electrician who was called for questioning in a murder case died under suspicious circumstances in police custody, leading to a protest by locals who allegedly vandalised police vehicles and attacked cops.

They also damaged a petrol pump and overturned an ambulance that was on its way to pick a patient, police sources said.

The death prompted the authorities to lodge an FIR and suspend the SHO of the Nawabganj police station after the incident on Wednesday night.

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Relatives of the victim and others protested on Thursday, placing the body on the Gonda-Ayodhya highway, demanding immediate arrest of those responsible. They also demanded a financial assistance of Rs 50 lakh to the family of the dead.

The protesters vandalised at least 10 police vehicles, an official said.

Superintendent of Police Akash Tomar told PTI that Dev Narayan Yadav (22) was brought to the police station for questioning in a murder case. During interrogation on Wednesday, his health suddenly deteriorated. He was taken to the district hospital for treatment, where the doctor declared him brought dead.

He said on Yadav’s death, his family created a ruckus and demanded the registration of a case, accusing SHO Tej Pratap Singh of murder.

On the complaint of the father of the dead, the SHO was suspended and a murder case registered against him on Thursday, the SP said.

Tomar said on receiving the news of this incident, locals and employees of the electricity department, led by former SP MLA Baijnath Dubey, blocked the Gonda-Ayodhya highway by placing the body on the road.

They were demanding immediate arrest of the accused and Rs 50 lakh assistance to the victim’s family.

Police sources said the protesters attacked the police force who had come to open the traffic jam.

Around 10 police vehicles were damaged due to stone pelting. During this, an ambulance passing from there was also overturned by the angry protesters.

According to eyewitnesses, the mob also vandalised a petrol pump located nearby.

Meanwhile, District Magistrate Ujjwal Kumar and Superintendent of Police Akash Tomar reached the spot and explained to the protesters that an FIR has been registered against the accused. Following assurance from officials of swift action, the family members agreed to take the body for cremation around 4 pm.

The SP said a case has been registered against those who indulged violence during the protest under relevant sections of the IPC.

While the local administration cleared the highway after a few hours, heavy police force has been deployed in the Nawabganj area, officials said.

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