A 35-year-old resident of Rampura village under the Sekhwan police station died in police custody in Batala on Saturday. The body of the deceased, Pargat Singh alias Bau, was brought to the local civil hospital, late in the evening.
Talking to mediapersons at the civil hospital, Nirmal Singh, brother of the deceased, said that Pargat was picked up by the Sekhwan police on Saturday afternoon and late in the evening, two constables from Sekhwan police station came and told the family that Pargat had fallen unconscious.
"When we reached the police station, Pargat was lying unconscious on the floor. We found injury marks on his body and asked the SHO Mehnga Singh to shift him to some hospital," he added. Nirmal Singh said the SHO had told them that they would shift Pargat to Dehariwal health centre, but Pargat was instead taken to the civil hospital, where doctors declared him brought dead.
The doctor on duty at the civil hospital, Dr Lalit Mohan, said that around 7pm, three constables came to the hospital with a body. He said the cause of death would be known only after the autopsy on Sunday.
SP (headquarter) Mohan Lal said Pargat Singh, a habitual drinker, on Saturday was arrested in Sekhwan for assaulting his neighbour Gurmukh Singh. "After arrest, he started vomiting and was shifted to the civil hospital, where he died of over consumption of liquor," the SP added. The police were seen to be pressuring his family to change their statement.