There was day-long protest against death of a youth allegedly in police excesses

Postmortem report says there are no external or internal injuries
Armed police continue to keep vigil in the locality

CUTTACK: Normalcy is returning in the sub-divisional headquarters of Athgarh of the district, about 50 km from here, which witnessed a daylong vandalism and protest on Friday against the death of a local youth allegedly due to police excess. On the other hand, postmortem conducted on the victim’s body reveals that there was no external or internal injuries found in it. However, FMT doctors who conducted the postmortem are yet to ascertain the cause of Behera’s death although, the viscera of the victim are preserved.

"The cause of death could not be immediately known but we have preserved the viscera for some more examinations," said the FMT doctor of SCB medical college and hospital B K Dash. No external or internal injuries were found on the victim’s body and the entire postmortem examination was done under video cameras, he added.

Meanwhile, one platoon of armed police continues to keep vigil in the locality on Saturday on rotation basis as precautionary measure. "Even as the situation in the locality is incident-free for the past 24-hours, the police deployment is made as a deterrent measure for the situation is still tense," says the district additional SP Gadadhar Rout.

The entire Athgarh area witnessed agitation and unrest on Friday following reports that one Bhaskar Behera, a 24-year-old youth of local Rajnagar village was killed in police excess on Thursday night. It was also alleged that police after shifting an unconscious Behera fled from the scene and the unattended victim died due to lack of treatment.

Police station gheraoed

Hundreds of irate villagers gheraoed the local police station on Friday refusing to cremate the body unless action was initiated against the erring policeman and adequate compensation was paid to the victim’s family. An angry mob had reportedly attacked the hospital the night before and assaulted the local doctor for negligence in treatment.

District Collector Sujata Kartikeyan and police IG S K Upadhaya who had rushed to the area from the city were also gheraoed demanding Rs 5 lakhs of compensation to the victim’s family. However, the situation was brought under control when one police ASI N K Das was placed under suspension and the district Red Cross announced Rs 10,000 assistance to the victim’s family.

According to reports reaching here, the Athgarh police had gone to Rajnagar village on Thursday night in connection with minor dispute in the village. After investigating the case, the police while returning back to PS went to the house of one Purushottam Behera in connection with another fortnight-old case for investigation. It was alleged that police during quizzing the family members, beat up Bhaskar, the nephew of Purushottam. When Bhaskar fell unconscious, police took him to the nearby hospital in their vehicle where doctors declared him dead. Police however; claim that they have not even touched Bhaskar during questioning the family members. "On humanitarian ground, police took the unconscious Bhaskar to the hospital who was either suffering from some diseases or was extremely shocked seeing police on their doorstep", claims the district ASP.