Family members and relatives of a 27-year-old inmate, who died in the Kapurthala Modern Jail after his health deteriorated suddenly on Monday morning, held a demonstration for nearly two hours, keeping the deceased's body on the road, resulting in a traffic jam outside the local civil hospital.
The deceased, Harpreet Singh, alias Happy, a resident of Malsian in Shahkot, was convicted in the Mickey kidnapping case, involving the abduction of Jalandhar-based property dealer Subhas Mahendroo's son Gagan Mahendroo, alias Mickey, in 2008 and was awarded lifetime imprisonment in 2012.
Mickey was kidnapped in January 2008 and released two days later after his father reportedly paid a ransom of Rs 1 crore. Raising slogans against the police and the jail authorities, the protesters claimed that Happy was tortured by the police who failed to provide him timely medical help, leading to his death.
Baldish Singh, the deceased's uncle, said that Happy's wife and sisters went to meet him in jail on Saturday on occasion of Raksha Bandhan when he informed them about torture in connection with attack on deputy superintendent of police (DSP jails) Vikramjit Panthe.
"He was given third-degree torture, including electric shocks, by the police during his remand due to which he suffered severe injuries on his right leg, back and arms," he alleged.
Daljit Singh, the deceased's brother, alleged that the police were demanding Rs 40,000 from Happy to save himself from the DSP's shootout case. He claimed that Harpreet informed the jail officials about severe pain in his right leg due to injury but the latter hardly bothered about it. "Jail officials even left his body in an ambulance outside the mortuary of the civil hospital," he said.
A police team led by superintendent of police (SP investigations) Jagjit Singh Saroya reached the spot and assured the protesters that the police will investigate the case and the family will get justice.
Jail superintendent Paramjit Singh Sandhu said Harpreet was not sent on remand in connection with the DSP shootout case or in any other, but he died due to injuries on his leg.
"Since he was hooked to drugs, he injected drugs on his right leg which caused injury," he added. Sandhu said the reason behind his death will come out after the post-mortem examination of the body. A team of doctors conducted post-mortem on the body in the presence of chief judicial magistrate Sumit Sabharwal.