Delhi Police constable faces probe for custodial death

July 21st, 2008 - 8:07 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 21 (IANS) A Delhi Police constable is facing a departmental probe after the family member of a 17-year-old youth alleged he tortured the boy to death in northwest Delhi last week, a police official said Monday. According to the family, Umesh died after a constable posted in the Swaroop Nagar police station brutally beat him up last Thursday in a case of mobile phone theft. The constable on patrol had received a complaint from a man that his mobile phone was missing and that he suspected Umesh stole it.

Following this, the constable went to Umesh’s house to question him but could not meet him.

Umesh, his mother and his brother-in-law later went to meet the constable, who allegedly roughed him up. When his condition deteriorated, the family took him home and then to a nearby hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.

Refuting the allegations of custodial death, Delhi Police spokesman Rajan Bhagat said Umesh was called only for interrogation in the theft case.

“After reaching home, he reported his illness and the family took him to the hospital where he died. We have requested for a sub-divisional magistrate enquiry,” Bhagat said.

In May, special staff of the southwest Delhi Police was accused of torturing a young man to death in a police post of Dhuala Kaun area. The police had detained the man in a chain snatching case.

According to Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) as many as 7,468 people, at an average of 1,494 people per year or about four people per day, have died or been killed in prison and police custody in India during 2002 to 2007.

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