A 25-year-old man died after he fell off the roof of a two-storey residential building in Hallomajra Colony Wednesday afternoon when two policemen raided the premises following a tip-off about alleged gambling. Sita Ram, a relative of victim Rohit Kumar, Thursday lodged a formal complaint with the police seeking legal action against the two constables, identified as Manjeet Singh and Ajay Kumar from Sector 31 police station, who raided the house. Residents allege they had escaped soon after Kumar fell off the terrace and died on the spot about 2.15 pm.
This had resulted in a protest by the colony residents who pelted stones and damaged a Police Control Room vehicle, which had reached the spot after the incident. Hallomajra residents, along with local leaders Sashi Shankar Tiwari of Congress and Gaurav Goel of Bhartiya Janta Yuva Morcha, also staged a protest outside the Sector 31 police station demanding immediate arrest of both the police constables.
A magisterial probe has been ordered to ascertain the circumstances that led to Kumar’s death. Sub-divisional Magistrate (East) Arjun Sharma will be conducting it. Police have also registered an FIR against unidentified persons on charges of rioting and damaging the PCR vehicle.
A civil engineer by profession, Kumar, who hailed from Nalanda in Bihar, had come to his maternal aunt Sneha Devi’s residence on November 6 for celebrating Diwali. Kumar, who was an intern with a Jammu-based industrial unit, is survived by his parents, a younger brother and a sister.
Police claimed that they received an information about gambling going on at house no. 256 in Hallomajra. However, the police refused to identify the source that informed them about the alleged gambling. Rohit and his relatives Sita Ram and Kamlesh were playing cards on the house’s terrace when the police raided the spot.
“We were playing cards. Two policemen came up and started abusing us. They accused us of gambling. Fearing for our lives, Kamlesh and I ran away and jumped on to the adjoining terrace. One of the two policemen grabbed Rohit by his neck and started checking his trouser’s pockets searching for money. He pleaded innocence, but the policeman kicked him in the stomach. Because of the impact of the kick, Rohit fell off the roof and hit the ground”, Sita Ram told Chandigarh Newsline.
Babloo, a neighbour of Sneha Devi, said as Kumar fell on the ground, both the policemen ran away from the spot. “Residents got angry at such insensitivity shown by the policemen. Although Rohit was rushed to Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, in a private vehicle, doctors declared him dead on arrival. Later, a PCR vehicle arrived on the spot. When people sought action against the two policemen, the PCR driver tried to run over the crowd. Thus, people got more agitated and started pelting stones at police. The vehicle’s rear glass got smashed,” he said.
Police, on the other hand, claimed Kumar fell off the terrace, while attempting to escape. “He held on to the terrace’s perimeter wall, which could not hold his weight and broke,” an officer of Sector 31 police station said.
ASP (South) Niharika Bhatt said Kumar’s body was handed over to his family members after post-mortem examination in the presence of SDM (East). “The report is yet awaited. I am also holding a fact-finding probe into the incident on two aspects – whether gambling was actually going on when the raid was conducted and how did Rohit fell off the terrace,” said Bhatt.