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A Nepali man, arrested by Kullu police in connection with the disappearance of US national Justin Alexander Shetler in the Parvati Valley, allegedly committed suicide on Saturday.
Superintendent of Police (Kullu) Padam Chand confirmed the death of Sant Narayan, a self-styled sadhu, who was sent to police remand till October 24, and was lodged at Manikaran police post. Shetler had allegedly stayed with him for a few days before he went missing. The police have also arrested a porter in connection with the case.
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“He hanged himself by using his dhoti in the police custody at Manikaran. I have suspended the guard and shifted rest of the staff for their negligence,” said SP Kullu. He said a judicial probe will be held into the custodial death as per section 176 of the CrPC by a senior judicial officer and responsibility will be fixed.
Kullu police had registered a criminal FIR in the case this month after Shetler’s 65-year-old mother C Susanne Reeb reached Kullu. She had later met Chief Minister and sought his help in the search for her son. Kullu SP said there has not been any major breakthrough in the search operation.