Foul play cry over custody death; police refute charge

Siraha, October 15:

Chandra Kumar Yadav (30) of Arnama-2, who was detained yesterday on the charge of murder, died in the police custody the same night. Yadav was taken into police custody to investigate into the murder of Utim Lal Mahato of Arnama-1 by the Janatantrik Tarai Mukti Morcha (Rajan Mukti). Members of the Yadav’s family alleged that Yadav died of police torture in the custody.

Makhan Sada and 12 other inmates at the Siraha District Police Office’s custody told media persons that DSP Sahakul Bahadur Thapa, head constable Ram Ashish Mahato and other policemen brutally tortured Yadav. “They dipped his head into water for three hours and beat him with boot and rifle butt,” the inmates said.

SP Ramesh Kharel said Yadav was immediately admitted to the district hospital after he fell ill yesterday night. “He was rushed to Janakpur Zonal Hospital after he couldn’t be treated there,” SP Kharel said adding that Yadav died on the way.

Assistant health worker at the district hospital Sudha Chaudhary said Yadav was the condition of Yadav was serious when he was brought to the hospital at 11:45 pm and that he had referred that case to the zonal hospital.

Issuing a press release today, deceased’s father Santa Bir Yadav claimed that DSP Sahakul Bahadur Thapa, head constable Ram Ashish Mahato and seven other policemen brutally tortured his son for two hours under the instruction of SP Kharel. Santa Bir demanded the suspension of SP Kharel and DSP Thapa and the formation of a high-level probe panel to look into the case. He also demanded that his son be declared martyr and also sought compensation to the bereaved family.

The family members have refused to receive the body which was handed over to them after the post-mortem examination.

Meanwhile, six protestors were injured in police action after the bereaved family members and villagers vandalised the district police office. The police also fired five shells of tear gas and fired few rounds in the air to take the situation under control. District headquarters Lahan remained tense from the early morning.