The case of six Gorakhpur policemen allegedly beating to death a 38-year-old property dealer from Kanpur on Tuesday is not the first instance this year in which Uttar Pradesh police officials have been accused of murder.
The Indian Express takes a look at five such cases.
* Jaunpur, February: Earlier this month, the Allahabad High Court directed the CBI to take over the probe into the alleged custodial death of a 24-year-old man in Jaunpur in February, hinting that senior officers were involved in shielding the accused policemen and destroying evidence.
A team from Jaunpur’s Buxa station had detained Krishna Yadav on February 11 for questioning in a case of looting. At the station, Yadav reportedly started suffering from “stomach pain” and was taken to a hospital that declared him dead on arrival.
Based on a complaint by Yadav’s brother, an FIR charged nine policemen with murder. Later, a Jaunpur court issued arrest warrants against the accused policemen.
After taking over the probe, the CBI filed an FIR in the case, saying Yadav had been framed.
* Ambedkar Nagar, March: Eight policemen, including the officer in charge of the district SWAT team, were charged with murder after the alleged custodial death of a 37-year-old man from Azamgarh. The SWAT team had allegedly detained Zia-ud-din on March 24-25 while he was visiting his relatives.
The 37-year-old’s family alleged that he died after policemen tortured him. The autopsy report, however, was inconclusive about the cause of death, as per the police. After protests, an FIR was filed at the Akbarpur police station in Ambedkar Nagar against Devendra Pal Singh, who was in charge of the SWAT team, and seven of his team members.
Ambedkar Nagar SP Alok Priyadarshi on Wednesday told The Indian Express that a magisterial inquiry by a Sub-Divisional Magistrate had been ordered, and it was almost complete. Asked about the police investigation into the FIR that alleged murder, the SP said the investigation had yet to be completed.
* Unnao, May: Faisal Hussain, an 18-year-old vegetable vendor was found dead on May 21 soon after officials from the Bangarmau police station detained him for allegedly violating Covid-19 restrictions.
The autopsy report mentioned the cause of death was a head injury. CCTV footage obtained from the station showed some unidentified people dragging Faisal even as he struggled to stand.
Police initially claimed Faisal had prima facie died of a heart attack. After his family and local resident blocked a highway with his body, an FIR was filed. Constables Vijay Choudhary and Seemavat, and home guard Satya Prakash were charged with murder.
Asked about the case status, Bangarmau CO Ashutosh Kumar said Wednesday investigators had filed a chargesheet against the policemen. The murder charge (IPC Section 302) against the accused has been converted to a charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder (Section 304).
* Sultanpur, June: Four policemen, including the Kudwar SHO, were booked for murder after a 35-year-old man accused of kidnapping a minor girl died in police custody.
At the time, Sultanpur SP Vipin Mishra had identified the kidnapping accused as Rajesh Kori. He was found with the minor on June 3 and brought to the police station. The SP said that while the girl was sent home, Kori was kept in police custody.
After suffering serious injuries in the station, the accused was taken to a local community health centre where doctors declared him dead on arrival.
Sultanpur Additional SP Vipul Kumar Srivastava told The Indian Express on Wednesday that the accused policemen had been booked for murder. The investigation in the case was now on in Musafirkhana in Amethi district, the senior officer added.
* Sant Kabir Nagar, July: The police detained a 55-year-old man in the Bakhira police station area on July 24 after his son allegedly eloped with a girl from their village. The police reportedly detained Bahraichi to put pressure on his son Ashok to return to the village with the girl.
Bahraichi’s family alleged he was assaulted during interrogation. When his health deteriorated, they took him to a hospital where he died, the family added.
Following his death, the accused police personnel allegedly fled the hospital. Bakhira SHO Manoj Kumar Singh was later suspended, SP Kaustubh said.
On Wednesday, police officials said an FIR had been registered against the SHO, some unidentified policemen, and six other accused.
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