Five cops suspended for custodial death (Lead)

July 30th, 2008 - 12:47 am ICT by IANS  

Chandigarh, July 29 (IANS)Five police officials here have been suspended as a man detained for a minor accident died in the police custody, officials said Tuesday. The five suspended police personnel include Jagir Singh, the station house officer (SHO) of the Industrial Area police station.

Jagir Singh was suspended because he left the police station without any supervisory staff and went to attend a meeting to discuss precautionary measures following bomb blasts in Ahmedabad and Bangalore.

The victim, Inderjit, 35, was cremated Tuesday amid tight security.

He was picked up by the police Monday afternoon when his horse cart hit a pedestrian who received minor injuries.

Detained in Industrial Area police station, Inderjit was taken to a hospital in Sector-16 for a medical examination around 4.15 p.m., sources said.

Around 8 p.m. Inderjit was found dead in the police station, the sources said. The police claimed that he strangled himself with a belt and was found dead by a sentry on duty.

The victim’s mother Chanderwati dismissed the police claims, saying her son never wore a belt. The police tortured Inderjit to death, she alleged.

The police have ordered an inquiry and are treating the case as “custodial death”.

“We are treating it as a custodial death and following the guidelines of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), we have referred the case to a magistrate and a judicial inquiry has been initiated,” S.S. Srivastava, senior superintendent of police, told IANS.

“After a departmental inquiry, five police officials have been suspended in the case,” said Srivastava.

“We are monitoring close circuit television (CCTV) footage from the cameras installed in the police station and will forward it to the magistrate. Post-mortem examination report will also be sent to the magistrate,” he added.

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