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Tripura: Manik Sarkar demands judicial probe in custodial death of ATM fraud suspect

While human rights activists and political parties blamed custodial torture for the death, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb yesterday said he has ordered a magisterial inquiry into the death of the ATM fraud suspect.

Written by Debraj Deb | Agartala | Updated: January 13, 2020 9:12:48 pm
Tripura Assembly witnesses uproar, opposition CPI(M) stages walkout over law and order situation Speaking to reporters after interaction with the deceased suspect’s relatives, Manik Sarkar said he feels the death is ‘unnatural’ and callsef for a judicial probe.  (Express photo by Abhisek Saha)

Demanding a judicial inquiry to probe the custodial death of an ATM fraud suspect Monday, Former Tripura chief minister Manik Sarkar termed the death of the suspect as ‘unnatural’.

Sarkar’s demand for a judicial inquiry comes even as Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb announced a magisterial inquiry Sunday.

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Sushanta Ghosh was a confectioner based in Lankamura village, a bordering village of West Tripura. He was arrested two days back by the cybercrime cell of Tripura Police based on interrogation of four foreign cyber-criminals who stole millions from 60 bank accounts of the state through skimming and card cloning in November last year.

Ghosh was found hanging with a towel in the lavatory of police lock-up at West Agartala Police Station on Saturday. While human rights activists and political parties cried custodial torture for the death, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb yesterday said he has ordered a magisterial inquiry into the death of the ATM fraud suspect.

“We have ordered a magisterial inquiry. The District Magistrate will probe the incident. If anyone is found guilty in connection to this case, we shall face appropriate action as per the law,” Deb told reporters.

Meanwhile, Sushanta’s family has registered a FIR at West Agartala Police Station accusing the police of torturing and killing him in police lockup.

“…I have no doubt that my son was tortured in the police lockup and he has been killed in the police lockup as there was no reason to commit suicide. Som I demand a fair investigation for the punishment of the police persons who are involved with the course of the death of my son,” Sushanta’s father Parimal Ghosh wrote in his FIR.

A host of political leaders including opposition leader Manik Sarkar, BJP MLAs Dr. Dilip Dasd, Sudip Roy Barman, Ashish Kumar Saha, and others visited Sushanta’s family at Lankamura on Monday.

Speaking to reporters after interaction with his relatives, Manik Sarkar said he feels the death is ‘unnatural’ and callsef for a judicial probe. “The entire incident is unnatural. Those, who had custody of the deceased when he died, are responsible for this. Villagers and some local people have demanded CBI inquiry . The government will decide that. But I feel at least a judicial inquiry should be ordered at this stage. It is hard to comprehend how a person could hang himself inside police lock-up,” Sarkar said.

Later in the day, BJP MLA Sudip Roy Barman visited Sushanta’s family and said the incident is a clear case of human rights violation.

“This is an incident that could destroy public faith in the police. This is a case of gross human rights violation. The government had ordered a magisterial inquiry. But if anyone tries to frame it as suicide before the probe results come out, it would be a severe injustice,” Roy Barman said.

Earlier in October last year, a 19-year old youth died in police custody in Tripura’s Gomati district on October 31. While his family accused the police of torturing him leading to custodial death, the police denied any aberration and claimed he developed ‘illness’ after he was taken to hospital for a routine check-up while in custody.

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