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Manipur court orders judicial probe into goldsmith’s death in police custody

The victim, 37-year-old Arambam Nanao, a resident of Imphal West district, was picked up from his residence by a police team on the morning of May 2.

Written by Jimmy Leivon | Imphal |
May 6, 2022 7:37:06 pm
Ananta Uday Bhaskar, Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh, India news, Indian express, Indian express news, current affairsAngry family members, relatives and locals have refused to remove the body from the vehicle and have prevented the police from approaching the vehicle.

A city court Thursday ordered a judicial inquiry into the death of a goldsmith who died allegedly due to police torture while in custody. The inquiry report is to be submitted within two weeks.

The victim, 37-year-old Arambam Nanao, a resident of Imphal West district, was picked up from his residence by a police team on the morning of May 2. Later in the evening, Nanao died at Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (Rims) Hospital in Imphal shortly after his release. He is survived by his wife and three children.

The deceased’s mother, Arambam Kombirei, filed a case in the court praying for an independent inquiry into the death of her son in police custody. Based on the FIR and complaint filed by the deceased’s mother, the court ruled that “prima facie” the case is of custodial death and directed the authority to conduct a suo-moto judicial inquiry.

The court also ordered that until the judicial inquiry is over, “no transfer or posting should be caused to any police personnel posted at Imphal police station, to enable the magistrate to conduct and record statements of witnesses smoothly and the deceased’s dead body should not be cremated or disposed of”.

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The court also directed the district magistrate to thoroughly cover the circumstances leading to the death of the deceased, even “the manner and sequence of incidents leading to death”. It also cited that the custodial death happened in the heart of the state capital where the police station shares the same compound with the office of the Superintendent of Police, Imphal West district. “Just across the street is the state police headquarters and bungalow and office of the chief minister,” the court noted.

Kombirei said her son was picked up around 9 am by some police personnel in civic dress on the alleged charge of not returning borrowed gold. One of the police personnel identified himself as sub-inspector Jitendra of the Imphal police station and asked the family to give Rs 5 lakh for Nanao’s release.

Later in the evening, some police personnel brought Nanao home in a weak condition and took him to his room, said the deceased’s mother. Nevertheless, none of the family members were allowed to meet or attend to the deceased in his room, she added.

A few minutes after his release, Nanao was rushed to the Rims Hospital where he died, said Kombirei. “We later came to know that her son was beaten and tortured inside the police station as there were so many visible bruises and contusions all over his body,” said Kombirei.

The main accused, sub-inspector Jitendra Singh, was placed under suspension the following day and subsequently arrested. He has been remanded in Police custody for six days.

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