Prafulla Das

BHUBANESWAR: A tribal youth, from Chandia in Orissa's Kalinganagar industrial area, on Saturday alleged that the police had assaulted him and obtained his signature at gunpoint on a plain paper, following the killing of his uncle in the May 12 police firing.

Speaking to journalists here, Lalmohan Jamuda, 20, said the police whisked him away from his village soon after they took away the body of his uncle Laxman Jamuda. Though the Jajpur police claimed that they had handed over the body to Lalmohan and one of his sisters after post-mortem on Wednesday night, the youth said they were never shown it. In fact, policemen kept him confined in a house at Trijanga, a few km away from his village, and he escaped from there only on Friday evening.

As for the police claim that they had information that the body was cremated in Puri late Wednesday night, Lalmohan said he had not gone there. “The police are telling all lies,” he said, showing injury marks on his body.

“They made me put my signature on a plain paper while keeping a gun aimed at me, and beat me up severely saying it was a punishment for supporting the agitation of the Bisthapan Birodhi Janamanch,” which is opposing the establishment of a steel plant by Tata Steel.

The youth said he was first taken to Kalinganagar on May 12 and in the evening he was kept in the Trijanga house, where his sister Sambhari Kurli and her husband were called by the police. Sambhari was also made to sign on a blank paper, Lalmohan alleged.

Police denial

However, a top police official dismissed all charges as baseless.

Meanwhile, the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party blamed the Jajpur police for “suppressing the truth” in their attempt to prove that Laxman was not killed by their bullets.

The BJP demanded a CBI probe into the police firing, Lalmohan's charges that he was tortured, and the cremation of Laxman's body under mysterious circumstances.

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