Four cops suspended after ‘custodial death’ in Koderma, family demands arrest - Hindustan Times
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Four cops suspended after ‘custodial death’ in Koderma, family demands arrest

By, Ranchi
Apr 14, 2022 09:37 PM IST

Body of 55-year-old Arjun Saw, a resident of Sabhi village, was found in Nirupahadi forest area, a few kilometres from the police station.

The Koderma district administration on Thursday suspended four policemen, including station in-charge of Domchanch police station, after a 55-year-old man allegedly died in police custody.

Koderma in Jharkhand. (HT)
Koderma in Jharkhand. (HT)

Body of 55-year-old Arjun Saw, a resident of Sabhi village, was found in Nirupahadi forest area, a few kilometres from the police station, on Wednesday morning.

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However, the family of the deceased alleged he was picked by a police team led by police station in-charge Shashikant Kumar and his body was dumped in forest after he died due to his injuries.

“My father was on way to a relative’s place around 4 am on Wednesday. He deals in asbestos scrap collection. He was stopped and picked by the policemen who often collect illegal money from scrap dealers. People who saw him being taken by policemen informed us. When we rang on my father’s number, the person who responded said he was at the police station. When we went there, the policemen said his phone was there but he was absconding,” said Sikandar, son of Arjun Saw.

“Later, a group of women saw the body lying in Piruphadi. We recovered his body around 10 am. Later, the administration took away the body and returned it to us around 2 am after autopsy. We have filed a police complaint demanding arrest of the accused policemen,” he said.

Bagodar legislator and CPI (ML) leader Vinod Singh visited Sabhi and extended support to the family and demanded arrest of accused policemen and adequate compensation for the family.

Koderma deputy commissioner Aditya Ranjan said four policemen, including the police station in-charge, have been suspended and attached with police lines to ensure a fair probe.

“Autopsy has been conducted and a three-member medical board will give its final report. If the allegations of the family are established, a criminal case would be registered with murder charges against the policemen,” said Ranjan.

The four suspended policemen includes police station in-charge Shashikant Kumar and three assistant sub-inspectors Vikash Paswan, Satish Pandey and Naveen Horo, he said.

Jharkhand has seen a disturbing trend of custodial deaths.

As per a written reply by the home, prison and disaster management department to CPI (ML) legislator Vinod Singh in the budget session of the assembly this year, Jharkhand recorded 166 custodial deaths — 156 in jails and 10 in police custody — between 2018 and 2020.

According to the data, the number of custodial deaths stood at 67, 45, 54 in the years 2018-19, 2019-20, 2020-21, respectively. The data for the year 2021-22 was not mentioned.

Singh said he raised the issue in the House and underlined that such incidents would not stop until exemplary punishment is taken against such policemen.

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