Two out of eight policemen who had been on the run after being booked for the custodial death of a suspected thief surrendered on Friday before Surat police. Probationer Police Sub Inspector C P Chaudhary and Constable Haresh Chaudhary were arrested in the afternoon on surrendering.
“We have arrested two accused policemen in the custodial death incident, while six others are still absconding,” Surat Police Commissioner Satish Sharma said.
“We have formed a team headed by Deputy Commissioner of Police Special branch of Surat Police, Chintan Teraiya, and are hoping that the remaining accused will be arrested soon.”
On May 30, Khatodara police picked up three youths identified as Omprakash Pandey, his elder brother Ramgopal Pandey, and a friend Jayprakash Pandey, all residents of Vinayak nagar society in Khatodara area and belonging to Mirzapur in Uttar Pradesh, suspecting their involvement in a house break-in case. The break-in had taken place in the neighbourhood in which the three youths lived.
The three were allegedly kept in illegal detention and tortured by the police for a confession. Omprakash is said to have been severely injured and suffered a brain haemorrhage and was rushed to New Civil Hospital for treatment. From there he was then shifted to a private hospital at Udhna Magdalla road, where he died on May 31.
Acting on the orders of Assistant Commissioner of Police N S Desai, Surat police carried out a primary investigation and reported the findings to Commissioner Sharma. The investigation found that Omprakash had died due to torture in police custody at Khatodara police station.
Upon the instructions of the police commissioner, Ramgopal Pandey lodged a complaint against eight officials including Khatodara Police Inspector M B Khileri, Police Sub Inspector C P Chaudhary and six other policemen under IPC sections 330 (forceful confession), 302 (murder), 342 (punishment for wrongful confinement), 324 (causing hurt by using dangerous weapons), 348 (wrongful confinement to extort confession), 34 (act done by several persons in furtherence of common intention), on May 31.
On May 31, Ramgopal Pandey and his friend Jayprakash Pandey were shown as arrested for their alleged involvement in the house break-in case. Both of them are at present lodged in Surat district Central jail in Lajpore under judicial custody.