A 17-year-old boy in Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur Kheri district died on Sunday, four days after he was allegedly assaulted in police custody, reported The Indian Express. Three police officers have been suspended in connection with the incident.
The deceased boy, identified as Rahul, was a resident of Indira Nagar village in Sampurnanagar. He was taken to the police station on January 19 after his uncle accused him of stealing a mobile phone.
Superintendent of Police Sanjiv Suman claimed that the boy was summoned to the police station along with his mother, uncle, the village head and three to four other people. Suman claimed that the boy was questioned in front of everyone and after that the two parties arrived at an agreement.
“The police have a written agreement between the two parties available with them,” he said. “On January 19 around 3 pm, the boy was sent back home.”
The police officer claimed that on Sunday, the boy’s mother came to police station accusing the deceased’s uncle and one other person of beating up her son on January 20.
“On January 20 at 11.30 pm, the boy was admitted to a hospital and he died on Sunday morning,” he said. “Following his death, the boy’s family alleged that he died due to police beating.”
He added that the police have ordered an inquiry into the allegations and if any officers are found guilty, action would be taken against them.
The sister of the deceased boy, however, countered the claims made by the police.
In a video shared on social media, the sister claimed that the boy was badly beaten by the police on suspicion of stealing the phone. She claimed that her mother, who had accompanied the boy to the police for interrogation, was also sent back.
She claimed that after the police let her brother go, his health condition deteriorated and was given some medicines. Later, the sister of the deceased said, the boy complained of stomach ache and was taken to the hospital where he died.
Another video shared on social media shows injuries on the boy’s back. Scroll.in could not independently confirm the authenticity of the videos.
After the boy’s death, villagers had taken his body to the a crossing in the village and staged a protest, demanding action against the police.
Senior police officials went to the spot to placate the protestors after which a delegation of villagers was called to the station.
Circle Officer Sanjay Nath Tiwari said that the boy’s body has been sent for post mortem examination, which will help the police ascertain the cause of death, reported IANS.
“The boy’s family has filed two complaints and we have registered an FIR under section 304 [culpable homicide not amounting to murder] of IPC against his uncle Ram Bahadur and neighbour Rajveer Singh,” he added. “The second complaint is against a sub-inspector and two constables. We are probing the case in detail and will take action against the cops in question accordingly.”