The death of CRPF jawan Soham Kumar, 45, in judicial custody, is set to snowball into a major controversy, as his family has lodged a complaint against excise department officials for allegedly torturing him.
The jawan was claimed to have been caught by sleuths of the excise department on May 17 at around 6.15pm at village Pakauli in Bidupur police station of Vaishali in a drunken state.
Vaishali excise superintendent Arvind Kumar said two litres of country liquor had been seized from him and he was produced before the court with request for judicial custody on Thursday morning.
However, during production, Soham, a jawan of the 60th battalion, started bleeding from the nose and the court asked excise officials to admit him to a hospital.
“He was admitted to the sadar hospital with information to the civil surgeon but at around 11.15pm on Thursday, he died in the hospital while still in custody,” he added.
Family members alleged that after Soham’s arrest they had shown a doctor’s certificate, which prescribed alcohol for the jawan due to his long stay at high altitude. “We showed it, but the excise officials did not accept it,” said his mother Atiraj Devi, adding that she has lodged a named FIR against Ajay Shankar Sahay (excise SI), Gunjesh Kumar (excise SI) and others with the Bidupur police station over the death of her son.
Soham’s wife Baby Devi is in Kota for their son’s examination. She has been informed about the tragic incident. “Soham died due to torture in custody as money was being sought from him,” Atiraj Devi alleged.
Vaishali acting SP Rashid Zama said as per preliminary investigation, he was a deserter from the CRPF and a case regarding this was also registered with Chakradharpur police station in Jharkhand on November 26, 2016. “We will investigate the matter in the light of the complaint,” he added.
Bihar sector CRPF IG MS Bhatia said the sector headquarters was monitoring the case. “We are in touch with the Vaishali administration. A medical board will be constituted for post mortem under camera. Once the report comes, we will decide the future course of action,” he added.
Soham is the second person to have died in custody within the week after being caught on the charge of consuming liquor in dry Bihar.
Earlier, one Chhotelal Bind had died in NMCH. He was arrested from Begumpur area under Bypass police station of Patna on charges of consuming liquor on May 11.