Tension spread in Pilakhuwa town, Hapur district of Uttar Pradesh, on Monday morning after a man allegedly died in police lock-up of torture. Three policemen, including the Station House Officer, have been suspended.
Local sources said Pradeep Tomar (30), a resident of Lakhan village, was picked up by police near the Chhajrasi toll plaza on Sunday for questioning in connection with a murder case. They alleged that he was detained when he was travelling with his wife and son. Late in the night, when his condition deteriorated, he was shifted to the GS Medical College in Pilahuwa, where he died in the early hours of Monday. Meanwhile, a video, purportedly showing Tomar’s backside as completely blue and marks of beating on his arms, has gone viral.
Yesh Veer Singh, Superintendent of Police, Hapur, told The Hindu, “ On August 30, a half-burnt body of a woman was found in the jungle of Lakhan village. Pradeep was a relative of the deceased. She was the wife of his brother-in-law. During surveillance and investigation, he was found to be a suspect. He developed health complications during questioning and was taken to a local hospital. Later, he was referred to the Meerut Medical College, where he died during treatment.”
As the officials didn't follow the standard operating procedure and didn't inform their seniors before taking Pradeep into custody, Inspector Yogesh Baliyan, chowki in-charge Ajab Singh and constable Manoj have been suspended. “We are waiting for the post-mortem report before taking further action. A departmental inquiry and a magisterial probe have been ordered,” Mr Singh said. He refused to comment on the video that purportedly shows injury marks on the deceased and the son and wife of Tomar alleging that he was beaten in their presence. “Let's wait for the post-mortem and inquiry reports. The post-mortem is being video recorded,” added Mr. Singh.
Family members and farmer leaders protested in the Meerut Collectorate, demanding murders charges against policemen involved in the case. The PAC (Provincial Armed Constabulary) has been deployed in Pilakhuwa and nearby villages.