Eight police personnel have been suspended and an enquiry has been ordered after the alleged custodial death of a 30-year-old Dalit man, three days after his arrest, in Amroha district.
Balkrishna, who worked as a driver, was arrested for alleged car theft in Dhanaura, police said. He died on Wednesday during treatment at a district government hospital, where he was taken by police officials allegedly due to serious illness.
The police personnel involved in his interrogation have been booked for murder after a complaint by Balkrishna’s family members, who alleged that he was beaten up badly on Tuesday night which resulted in his death. In a letter to the police, they alleged that Balkrishna was picked up on Sunday night when he lost his way on the highway due to fog. “The police officials demanded 5 lakh after arresting him and claimed that he would be charged with serious crimes if the money was not provided,” the letter read.
In a purported video of his family members, Balkrishna’s wife and a relative can be seen holding wads of cash, alleging that police were demanding the money.
Amroha SP Vipin Tada said, “Police officials of Dhanaura arrested Balkrishna with an Eeco car during a routine check on the Badaun-Panipat state highway-50… a case was registered at Delhi’s Anand Parbat police station for the particular car’s theft in May 2017. Prima facie it appears there was negligence on part of the officials handling the arrest. An enquiry has been set up under Additional Superintendent of Police following which the date and time of arrest and the allegations on the part of the family will be looked into.”
Police claimed a magisterial probe has also been ordered whose report will be submitted within a few days.
Eight police personnel, including Dhanaura station in-charge Anand Mohan, a sub-inspector and constables, were suspended after a preliminary enquiry.
Balkrishan’s family members along with residents of his native Basi Sherpur village staged a protest outside the SDM’s office on Wednesday morning. The protest gradually turned violent as the crowd damaged government vehicles, including the SDM’s car. A company of the PAC and police personnel from several stations were deployed to control the situation.
“An FIR has been filed against unidentified persons under sections concerning damage to government vehicle, arson and preventing an officer from doing his duty,” Tada said.