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Mystery surrounds Naraina custodial death

While police initially said Singh jumped down from the second floor, their preliminary inquiry, however, has indicated that he did not commit suicide but apparently fell down while allegedly attempting to escape from the police custody.

delhi Updated: Feb 22, 2018 22:44 IST
Karn Pratap Singh
Karn Pratap Singh
Hindustan Times
custodial death,mystersy,naraina police
Naraina police station building from where Dalbir Singh allegedly jumped(SOURCED)

New Delhi: Mystery shrouds the alleged custodial death of 54-year-old Dalbir Singh as police are yet to ascertain the circumstances under which he fell down from the second floor of the Naraina police station building on Wednesday evening.

While police initially said Singh jumped down from the second floor, their preliminary inquiry, however, has indicated that he did not commit suicide but apparently fell down while allegedly attempting to escape from the police custody.

“Prima facie, it appears that Singh slipped while climbing down one of the iron drainage pipes attached with bathrooms of the police station,” said a police officer familiar with the inquiry. Police are yet to find an eyewitness, who could tell how exactly Singh fell off the building.

The family members of Singh have dismissed the ‘suicide’ and ‘escape attempt’ theories, saying he would have taken such attempts on Tuesday itself as he spent the entire night in the police station. They have alleged that the policemen tortured him and then threw him from the police station building.

“My uncle was in police custody for just one day. The charges against him were not serious. He knew that he will be bailed out soon. Why would he escape when he knew that he will be caught and the case will become strong against him?” asked Sanjay, Singh’s relative.

The body of Singh was handed over to his family members after autopsy was conducted by a panel of doctors at Deen Dayal Upadhyay (DDU) hospital.

Singh was arrested on Tuesday in a cheating and forgery case that was registered against him on the complaint of an Army officer posted at the Army Base hospital in Delhi Cantonment. Singh was allegedly caught collecting medicines in the dispensary of the hospital using a forged prescription slip. He was caught red handed and was handed over to the police along with a complaint on which an FIR was registered.

Vijay Kumar, deputy commissioner of police (West), said Singh on Wednesday was produced in the Patiala House court that sent him to one-day in police custody. Sub-inspector Deepak and constable Parvesh were escorting Singh to the court and then back to the police station.

Constable Pravesh has told the investigating authority that Singh told him that he was hungry and thirsty. When he took Singh to the canteen on the second floor, Singh pushed him inside, latched the canteen’s door from outside, and fled, said the DCP.

“The constable used a tawa (iron pan) to break the latch by hitting on the door. When he failed, he dialled the duty officer’s landline number and alerted about Singh’s escape. While a search was on, Singh was found lying injured in the back side of the police station,” said Kumar.

The DCP said Singh was rushed to DDU hospital in a police gypsy. “Doctors pronounced him dead on admission,” he said, adding the court was informed about the alleged custodial death. The two policemen were suspended.

ENDS

First Published: Feb 22, 2018 22:44 IST