Cops blame ‘pesticide entering body through milk,food’ for custody death

In its affidavit in court,Punjab Police claimed that Jagir Singh died after consuming food that was “sprayed with pesticides”

Written by RAGHAV OHRI | Chandigarh | Published:September 14, 2012 1:33 am

In its affidavit in court,Punjab Police claimed that Jagir Singh died after consuming food that was “sprayed with pesticides”

Dangerous poisonous substance enter the human body through milk,vegetables and other eatables because they contain pesticides and can cause sudden death. The Punjab Police on Thursday came up with this “discovery” while justifying the “unnatural” death of one Jagir Singh in Jalandhar Central Jail in 2009.

Jalandhar Jail Superintendent Surinder Singh,in an affidavit,told the Punjab and Haryana High Court that organo phosphorus compound,a poison used to commit suicide,was found in Jagir’s stomach after his death. Jagir was undergoing a 10-year sentence under NDPS Act.

While the chemical examination report and an inquiry held by a sessions judge found his death to be “unnatural”,the police,in its affidavit,claimed that Jagir died after consuming food that was “sprayed with pesticides”.

Shocked over the “justification”,the high court on Thursday came down heavily on the Punjab Police and ordered an interim compensation of Rs 2 lakh to the kin of deceased.

Terming the stand taken by the jail official as “unbelievable”,Justice Mahesh Grover directed the police to inform the court which jail officials were responsible for Jagir’s “unnatural” death. Grover also questioned the counsel for Punjab Police to explain how the said “poison” had entered the jail.

The directions were passed during the resumed hearing of a petition filed by Jagir’s widow demanding a compensation of Rs 50 lakh.

The affidavit filed by the jail superintendent stated: “As per medical report,organo phosphorus contents were found and in a number of cases,it has been detected that it enters in human body through milk,vegetables and food and the spray of pesticides in the daily eatables. Reports have been submitted to Punjab State Human Rights Commission.”

The doctor,who had conducted the chemical examination,had submitted that Jagir died due to organo phosphorus compound pesticide.

“ Either Jagir himself consumed the poison or was administered the same by somebody else. So,I hold the death of Jagir as case of suicide or murder and the same took plce under suspicious circumstances,” the medical report had stated.

Describing the death as “unnatural”,another single bench,on January 25,had also ruled that it is clear that Jagir died an unnatural death under suspicious circumstances. “Prima facie,it seems to be a case of grant of compensation,” it added.

Following this,the police on Thursday came up with the “pesticide” explanation.

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