Suspected thief dies of bullet injury in police custody in MP, two cops booked
Two policemen were suspended and booked for culpable homicide while the district superintendent of police (SP) was shifted on Monday after a protest by residents of Narayanpur village in Satna district of Madhya Pradesh over the death in custody of a 38-year-old man on Sunday night.
Villagers alleged that the deceased - a suspect in a theft case - received bullet injuries from the service revolver of a police inspector that caused his death.
However, police claimed that Rajpati Kushwaha, the deceased who was a resident of Narayanpur village and detained for interrogation in a theft case, shot himself with a police officer’s service revolver.
The suspended cops include Singhpur police station in-charge Vikram Pathak and constable Ashish Kumar, said Rewa zone inspector general of police (IGP) Umesh Joga.
The transfer of the SP of Satna district Riyaz Iqbal was announced by chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan in Bhopal. He also announced an ex-gratia of Rs 10 lakh to next to the kin of the deceased.
“Superintendent of police of Satna district Riyaz Iqbal has been shifted from Satna. A magisterial inquiry has been ordered. If any police personnel is found guilty in the inquiry the state government will not spare him and take strict action against him,” Chouhan told reporters.
Later, an FIR was lodged against the two cops for culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
“An FIR has been registered against the police station in-charge Vikram Pathak and constable Ashish Kumar under section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and 348 (wrongful confinement) of Indian Penal Code (IPC) at Singhpur police station,” Joga said.
Earlier, a large number of residents of Narayanpur village in Satna district, 486 kilometres north east of Bhopal, led by local MLA Siddharth Kushwaha of the Congress staged a protest at the police station demanding criminal case for murder against the police personnel and their arrest. They also demanded transfer of the SP. Police caned the protesters to control the situation.
The deceased’s daughter Shivani Kushwaha, 18, said, “My father was being harassed by police for a long time. He can’t kill himself because he was a brave person and told us that he would come back from the police station as he didn’t commit any crime.”
“Police are lying. He was killed by police,” Kushwaha said.
“The agitated mob tried to gherao the police station and also pelted stones on the police station. Police used tear gas and resorted to use of force to control the mob,” said the IG.
Joga said Rajpati was interrogated over the theft of a rifle and jewelry.
“A few days ago, someone stole jewelry and a licensed rifle from the house of the former sarpanch of Narayapur village. The former sarpanch in his written complaint expressed his doubt about involvement of Rajpati and two others in the crime. Police had interrogated Rajpati once last week. On Sunday, he was called again for interrogation to the police station.”
“SP Riyaz Iqbal informed me that during interrogation, Rajpati snatched the revolver of police station in-charge Vikram Pathak and shot himself in the middle of his forehead. He was taken to a private hospital from where he was referred to Sanjay Gandhi Medical College, Rewa where he succumbed to bullet injury,” said Joga.