Updated: February 25, 2021 10:00:44 am
Family members of the 20-year-old tribal woman, who was found dead in the officers’ guesthouse in Chhattisgarh’s Karli on Tuesday evening, refused to take her body on Wednesday.
While postmortem report is awaited, the family alleged that Pande Kawasi was beaten up in police custody.
Pande, who the police said was a Maoist cadre, had allegedly surrendered on February 19. According to her mother Somari Kawasi, the family met Pande on February 20. “She was crying and begging us to take her home,” Somari said in Gondi.
“Pande was forcefully taken along with Jogi on February 18 in a pick-up truck. Her family was finally allowed to meet them on February 20,” tribal activist Sujit Karma said.
The family said Pande had told them that she was beaten up. “She was scared and wanted to go home. The SP said she would be allowed to go in a week,” a close family member said.
Denying the allegations, Dantewada SP Abhishek Pallav said the family had met Pande every day since she had surrendered. “Both Jogi and Pande consistently said since February 19 that they want to stay and work with the police, but constant persuasion by family members and local representatives under pressure of Maoists led to loss of a life,” Pallav said.
Activist Soni Sori said, “She had told her family that she was beaten up. Her death is not a suicide but premeditated murder.”
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