The family of an inmate at the local jail, who died on Sunday, has claimed that he was beaten to death.
Gamdur Singh, resident of Bhodipora village in the district, had been in the jail since July last year on charges of drug-peddling.
According to the jail authorities, Gamdur felt ill on Sunday morning and his condition suddenly deteriorated. He was taken to the local civil hospital. The jail authorities claimed Gamdur was alive when brought to the hospital.
However, Jaspal Singh, a relative of Gamdur, claimed, "Doctors at the civil hospital said Gamdur was brought dead to the hospital."
He alleged, "We came to know from sources on Sunday morning that Gamdur was badly beaten up by constables Baldev Singh and Harbans Singh in the jail on Saturday night. The sarpanch of the village got a call from Bhagta police station regarding the incident. We reached the civil hospital and found injury marks on the body. It was apparent that he was badly beaten up in the jail and the officials had concocted a story about his sickness."
Jaspal said they would not claim the body and would sit on dharna until a case against the two constables was registered. The body has been sent for post-mortem.
Deputy jail superintendent Balbir Singh denied that Gamdur was beaten up in the jail. He said Gamdur was ill and died at the hospital.
Not first such incident
It is not for the first time when Bathinda jail authorities have faced such allegations. In February 2011, three deaths in a week in the jail had made headlines. Inmates Ashwini Kumar (23), Preetam Singh (85) and Balwant Singh (75) had died in the jail within days of each other. Booked for murder, Balwant had died under mysterious circumstances in the second week of February, 2012; Ashwini of Bathinda died on February 12; Preetam died under similar circumstances the next day.