Seven policemen in Madhya Pradesh’s Gwalior district were suspended on Sunday in connection with a case of custodial death, ANI reported. Inspector General of Gwalior Zone Raja Babu Singh said that a judicial investigation had been ordered in the case.
The policemen, including an assistant sub-inspector, were suspended after a farmer identified as Suresh Rawat died in police custody. The five along with a home guard have been booked for murder, said senior unidentified police officials in Gwalior. The first information report was filed on the basis of the complaint by Suresh Rawat’s brother Altaf Rawat, according to The New Indian Express.
According to reports, Suresh Rawat – a resident of Bajna village – had an altercation with a Dalit farmer identified as Khemu Shakya on Saturday over demarcation of land. After they went to Belgarha police station to submit complaints against each other, the police booked Rawat under the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. Rawat was detained at the police station, and a few hours later he was found hanging through the grill of the lock-up. He was taken to a hospital, where doctors declared him dead on arrival.
Altaf Rawat alleged the police asked for Rs 20,000 bribe when his brother-in-law Mandal Singh asked them why an FIR was not filed on the basis of Suresh Rawat’s complaint, Hindustan Times reported. Altaf Rawat accused the police of torturing his brother in custody trying to extort money.
“I saw police personnel taking Rawat’s body in a police jeep and reaching a hospital,” Altaf Rawat wrote in his complaint. “I also reached the hospital where doctors pronounced my brother dead. After this, the police personnel fled from the hospital.”
After this, a group of villagers started protesting at the Bhitarwar triangular crossing and refused to cremate the farmer’s body. The agitation, which went on for about eight hours, was called off at night after Superintendent of Police Navneet Bhasin ordered the suspension of the police personnel.
Separately, four policemen, including three constables and the officer in charge of Nanpur police station in Alirajpur district, were suspended for torturing four Adivasi youths and a teenager in custody on Friday night, The New Indian Express reported. The five were allegedly forced to drink urine.
“A departmental probe is being initiated,” India Today quoted Superintendent of Police Vipul Srivastava as saying. The five were detained by the police while they were returning from a Adivasi Diwas event at Nanpur Phata Dam.