A riot accused who surrendered before police and was sent to the Muzaffarnagar district jail barely a week ago has died of head injuries. His family alleged that jail officials assaulted him and delayed medical treatment, causing his death. But the jail officials said the injuries were self-inflicted — he banging his head on the walls. They, however, failed to explain why he would do that.
Brijpal Malik (47) sustained the injuries on Wednesday morning, but was referred to Meerut hospital next day only after his wife visited the jail and came to know about the injuries. She created a ruckus over the delay in medical treatment following which Malik was sent to hospital. He was declared brought dead by doctors at Meerut hospital on Thursday.
Malik, a resident of Hasanpur village in Shamli district, surrendered at a police station on January 30 in a riot case lodged against him on September 8, 2013 at the Phugana police station in Muzaffarnagar. His 17-year-old son is also an accused in the case; he is absconding. The two faced charges of arson and dacoity, said Malik’s lawyer Chandraveer Singh.
Inspector General, UP Prisons Department, R R Bhatnagar said, “According to information, there was no delay in providing treatment to him as the jail doctor had stitched his wounds and given him medicines soon after he was brought to the jail hospital. Malik complained about severe pain next morning following which he was referred to the district hospital from where he was shifted to Meerut hospital.”
He said Malik appeared disturbed since he came to jail. Other inmates had seen Malik banging his head on the wall in the barrack, he said, dismissing the allegations of his family. However, Bhatnagar said an inquiry would be conducted by DIG Jail, Meerut range, Raghubeer Lal.
Muzaffarnagar District Jail Superintendent Seva Ram Choudhury said that on February 4 morning Malik suddenly started hitting his head against the iron grills and the walls. Some inmates tried to stop him but he ran out of the barrack and banged his head against a tree on the jail campus. By the time the jail staff arrived, he had suffered injuries on his head.
Malik’s elder brother Kedar alleged, “I am sure that Malik was beaten up with sticks inside the jail. The jail doctor is responsible for the negligence as he did not provide proper treatment. The jail officials did not even inform us about the injuries.”
District Magistrate Kaushal Raj Sharma said he will send a report on the incident to the district judge.
Meanwhile, Malik’s relatives and locals blocked the Karnal-Meerut highway by placing his body there Friday evening. They demanded compensation and action against the jail officials.
It took several hours for the officials to pacify the agitators as locals from Hasanpur, Lisad, Laak and Bahari — all riot affected villages in Shamli — had gathered at the spot. Additional SP, Shamli, Virendra Kumar Mishra said the situation at Hasanpur village is normal now. On Saturday, Malik’s family members met Additional District Magistrate, Shamli, Bharat Pandey and submitted an application seeking financial help.