Mystery shrouded death of an Army jawan Pratap Singh (26) who was found hanging in the Kotwali lock-up early on Monday morning.
The jawan was found hanging with his feet on the ground and knees leaning forward, sources alleged. He belonged to the 12 Kumaon regiment in Lucknow and had come to the city on Sunday. He had reportedly got his presence registered with the army authorities the same day.
However, in the evening the jawan reportedly went to the red light area, along with another person, possibly a colleague.
Sources said, he entered a house in an inebriated state. When told to leave by the members of the household, he entered into a brawl, the sources added. As a result he was bashed up by people and taken to the nearby Kotwali police station for action.
Police registered a case against him under section 354 and 323 of the IPC and put him in the lock-up. Sources said, the jawan after being handed over to the cops had quarrelled with them. Hence, he was allegedly given a beating by the men in uniform, leading to his death, the sources said. After this, the cops, in a bid to save their skin, hanged him with a piece of cloth, it was alleged.
However, this allegation was refuted by SP City HN Singh, who said the jawan ended his life in order to save himself from social and departmental shame and possible action which could have resulted in his court martial.
He, however, accepted laxity on the part of the cops posted at the police station, particularly the sentry who could not spot the jawan taking the drastic step. A torn quilt, he said, had been lying outside the lock-up and the jawan managed to pull it and tear a piece of cloth to be used as a noose.
The complaint against the jawan had been lodged by one Sidhu in whose house the jawan had tried to enter and later got embroiled in a brawl.
The body was sent to the mortuary for autopsy and the army authorities were informed. Defence PRO Wing Commander SM Sharma did not respond on his mobile phone when contacted for his version.