The death of a man allegedly in a police lock-up at Milki in Malda district triggered violence in the area late Sunday night, leaving four policemen injured. Angry residents also ransacked a police outpost before setting it on fire.
Police said that 55-year-old Ainul Khan, a resident of Puratan Bhagabanpur in Malda, was picked up from a gambling den along with seven others during a raid on Sunday evening. “After he was brought to the police station, Khan felt unwell and was taken to a primary health centre for a check-up. He was referred to Malda Medical College and Hospital but the locals kept accusing the police of torture and didn’t allow him to be taken to the hospital,” said Superintendent of Police (Malda) Alok Rajoria.
Sources said that as the news spread that Khan has died in the lock-up, people gathered outside the police station and started protesting and accused the police of beating him to death. Police, on the other hand, said that Khan died during mob violence as protesters did not allow him to be taken to the hospital.
According to police, the mob damaged one police vehicle and assaulted the officers, before setting the outpost on fire, resulting in damage of important documents. “During the violence, four policemen were injured… Khan died before he could be taken to Malda Medical College and Hospital. The body has been sent for a postmortem. The cause of death will be ascertained after the report is filed,” said the SP.
Following the violence, police have arrested 15 people, so far. “Such incidents of attacks on the police cannot be accepted. Search operations are on and will continue,” Rajoria said, adding that a huge contingent of police and Rapid Action Force (RAF) have been deployed at the spot.
In August, an accident, in which a man was run over by a tractor, had triggered similar mob violence in Ratua, Malda.