An ASSISTANT Sub-inspector (ASI) and a head constable at Handayiya police station in Barnala district have been suspended and booked on charges of murder following the death of a 38-year-old man in custody.
The man, Baldev Singh, died after allegedly consuming sulphas tablets at the police station Wednesday.
Reportedly, Baldev Singh was on his way to Handayiya from Barnala when he was stopped at a naka. He was brought to the police station after he could not produce the requisite documents of his motorcycle.
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Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Barnala, Gurpreet Singh Toor said, “The man in question was drunk and even misbehaved with policemen following which he was brought to the police station. We have booked our officials as Baldev’s family has alleged that he consumed sulphas tablets inside the police station.”
However, the two accused policemen, ASI Charanjeet Singh and head constable Saudagar Singh, are yet to be arrested.
The SSP has also sought a judicial inquiry in the case.
Meanwhile, Baldev Singh’s brother Labh Singh, a member of panchayat at Handayiya village and Congressman, alleged, “My brother was beaten up. His mobile phone and Rs 20,000 in cash that he was carrying are missing.”
He also said that Baldev did not have any sulphas tablets. “We wonder where did he get the tablets from and how could he consume them in the presence of police,” he said.
Labh Singh said when he came to know that Baldev was at the police station, he called ASI Charanjeet Singh who told him to come and take him away.
“However, by the time I reached the police station, Baldev was vomiting and had to be rushed to hospital,” said Labh Singh, adding the police first took him to a nearby hospital that referred him to Barnala civil hospital. He was then referred to Ludhiana’s DMCH but died on the way.
Baldev was reportedly taken to hospital in the ASI’s private vehicle.
Baldev, a farmer, is survived by his wife, Binder Kaur, and 12-year-old son Narinder Singh.
Meanwhile, Baldev’s family members along with Bharti Kisan Union (Ugrahan) and Bharti Kisan Union (Dakaunda) sat on a dharna outside the civil hospital, Barnala, and are yet not allow the post-mortem of the body. They said the dharna will not be lifted until the two accused policemen were arrested.