THE OWNER of a rice mill died allegedly of head injuries during a police raid at his mill in Kemari area of Rampur district, following which a murder case has been lodged against seven policemen, including two sub-inspectors (S-Is). The incident took place Saturday night.
While the police claim that the raid was conducted following a tip-off about gambling going on inside the mill and that they were unaware about the injury to mill owner Jalal Ahmed, the family of the deceased alleged that policemen assaulted him causing his death. A magisterial inquiry has been ordered to probe into the role of the policemen and how the victim sustained injuries.
Locals blocked the road and staged protest demanding arrest of the policemen. The protest was lifted after a murder case was lodged against two S-Is and five constables of Kemari police station who had raided the mill.
Superintendent of Police, Rampur, Sanjeev Tyagi said the policemen booked in the murder case have been shunted to Reserve Police Lines and a departmental inquiry has been ordered.
Chief Development Officer of the district, Amit Kishore, who has officiating charge of District Magistrate, said he has ordered for a magisterial inquiry to probe into the allegations of murder.
Tyagi said, victim’s autopsy report stated that the death occurred due to injury on head. No other injury on body is mentioned in the report, he added.
He further said that Jalal Ahmed, 47, was not found injured at his mill, but was taken to the hospital from another rice mill, which is about one kilometre away. It will be probed how Ahmed reached another mill when a police raid was on at his rice mill, the SP said.
Ahmed’s rice mill is located about one kilometre away from his house at Kemari town.
Station Officer, Kemari, Laxmi Shankar told The Indian Express that a police team raided Ahmed’s rice mill following information that gambling was going on inside. The team caught two persons — Taufeeq and Abrar — of Kemari town engaged in gambling while others escaped. Police also recovered Rs 6,700 from the possession of the two accused and the duo admitted that the cash was part of the gambling, added Shankar.
“After the team returned with the two accused to the police station, locals staged a protest alleging that they (police team) had beaten up Ahmed causing his death. The allegations, however, are false,” the SO said. He added that the two arrested accused were granted bail from the police station after the protest.
Meanwhile, victim’s younger brother Ameer Ahmed, who is also complainant in the case, claimed that Ahmed and others were sleeping inside the rice mill when the police team entered the premises Saturday night and started abusing them. “The policemen were heavily drunk. They demanded Rs 1 lakh from those present at the mill failing which they threatened to arrest them on gambling charges,” Ameer alleged.
“The policemen started beating all, including my brother, with sticks and rifle butts when they refused to pay the amount. My brother suffered injuries but somehow managed to scale the boundary wall of the mill and escaped,” he further claimed.
Ameer claimed that on Sunday morning he got a call from unknown number informing that his brother had suffered serious injuries and was lying near the rice mill. “I found him lying unconscious in a field near the rice mill. He was rushed to the district hospital where doctors declared him brought dead,” he alleged. Ahmed is survived by his wife and six children.