A 19-year-old man allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself inside the Karawal Nagar police station on Tuesday. According to police, Deepak alias Pope, was found hanging from his gamcha inside the investigating officer’s room.
Police have ruled out any foul play in the incident, but have suspended four personnel — three ASI-rank officers and a sub-inspector — for “lack of professional conduct”. An inspector (ATO) of the police station has also been sent to the district lines, police said.
However, Deepak’s family alleged he was murdered by police — a claim denied by police. The family also alleged that police were pressuring them to pay Rs 30,000 for his release.
The victim’s uncle, Shyam Sunder, said Deepak had been living with him after he was abandoned by his father. “He was wanted in some cases and I had convinced him to go to court. Instead, police picked him up and tortured him inside the police station,” Sunder alleged.
According to DCP (northeast) A K Singla, Deepak had four criminal cases against him — including a POCSO case. He was recently picked up on charges of sexually assaulting a minor.
“He was in contact with a minor girl from his locality. But when the girl got to know about his criminal antecedents, she started to avoid him. He then threatened the girl, following which the complaint was registered against him,” the DCP said. On Monday evening, Deepak was picked up from his house in Shiv Vihar and was supposed to be taken to Khajuri Khas police station. However, the IO in the case took him to Karawal Nagar police station instead, which has no lockup and operates from a temporary facility.
“All criminals in the area are supposed to be taken to Khajuri Khas but the IO took him to Karawal Nagar. This was a mistake and the accused was left unattended by policemen inside the IO’s room,” a police officer from Karawal Nagar police station said.
Deepak’s uncle, Ashok Kumar, was the last person to see him alive. “Police picked up my nephew and locked him up. I kept asking on what charges they were holding him but they did not reply,” Kumar alleged. The family claimed they received news about Deepak’s death around 10 am.
Police said the DCP and ACP of the area reached the spot and looked into the matter. “We had tried to revive the boy but he was beyond our help. A report has been sent to the local magistrate,” Singla said.