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Man killed in police custody in Sangli, PSI, 4 others suspended

Relatives of deceased surround the police station on Tuesday demanding to see him. It is alleged that the police had tried to burn the body in an attempt to destroy evidence.

pune Updated: Nov 09, 2017 18:01 IST
Shalaka Shinde
Shalaka Shinde
Hindustan Times, Pune
Officials and employees of Sangli police station where the suspect was allegedly found killed in police custody were evading questions from the deceased’s relatives. (HT REPRESENTATIONAL PHOTO)

Police sub inspector (PSI) Yuvraj Kamte, four constables of the Sangli city police station were suspended after a man caught for robbery was killed in police custody. The deceased, Aniket Kothale, 26, and Amol Bhandare were arrested on Monday along with another person for robbing a motorbike-borne man of ₹2,000 at knifepoint. The sub inspector and the four constables were also taken into custody

The four other police employees were identified as constables Anil Laad, Arun Tone, Suraj Mulla and police naik Rahul Shetge. The policemen also took help of one zero-policeman, Zakir Patwedar, who was also booked in the case, according to Deepali Kale, deputy superintendent of police, Sangli, who first suspected foul play in the death of the inmate.

The six men have been booked under Sections 302 (murder), 330 (causing hurt to extort confession), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence), 331 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt to extort confession) and 34 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The case has been handed over to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Kolhapur, DySP Kale added.

“PSI Kamte and othershave shamed the entire police force with their misconduct,” DySP Kale said.

The relatives of the deceased had surrounded the police station on Tuesday demanding to see him. State youth Congress members were also present when the people surrounded the police station.

While the officials and employees of Sangli police station were evading questions, Vishwas Nangre Patil, inspector general of police (IGP), Kolhapur range, addressed a press conference in Sangli and visited the family of the deceased on Wednesday afternoon. It, then, came to light that PSI Kamte had tried to burn Kothale’s body twice in an attempt to destroy evidence. The attempt to dispose the body was madeat Amboli Ghat, Kolhapur where it was doused in petrol and burnt.

The police were initially denying the claims of having killed Kothale in police custody and said that he had run away from the police station while being taken to the interrogation room from the lock-up.

“There were seven people in the lock-up on November 6. During the night round, I found only five people in the lock-up. Since I had questioned the two missing men, I grew suspicious when I did not find them in the lock-up. When asked, PSI Kamte started evading questions. He told me that they had run away. So we registered a IPC 224 case and started looking for them. During the search, I found Kamte near Amboli Ghat where he had tried to burn the body,” Deepali Kale, deputy superintendent of police, Sangli told Hindustan Times.

During the search, PSI Kamte brought Amol Bhandare back to corroborate his story. On Monday night, Bhandare was also taken to the spot where the policemen tried to burn the body. PSI Kamte had claimed that while Kothale ran away to Hubli in Karnataka, his accomplice escaped to Nipani, also in Karnataka.

Meanwhile, Amol Bhandare, who was in police custody for three days, was sent to magisterial custody remand (MCR) by a court in Sangli on Wednesday.

First Published: Nov 08, 2017 16:31 IST