GUWAHATI, June 18 - An accused in a car theft case, who was arrested and jailed, died at the Guwahati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) today, with his relatives blaming the death on custodial violence.
Krishna Mandal (43) was arrested by Gorchuk Police on May 31 in connection with a car theft case at a workshop where he was employed. He originally hails from Paneri Gaon in Udalguri of BTAD.
Though the doctors at the GMCH said there were injury marks on Mandal’s body, Hospital Superintendent Ramen Talukdar said the exact cause of death can be ascertained only after the post-mortem report.
Police Commissioner Hiren Nath said Mandal was sent to judicial custody on June 1, a day after his arrest. He was in jail for over a week, after which he was shifted to the GMCH. “He was a drunkard. If he had developed any complications, it was in jail and not while in the police station,” Nath said.
“I have also inquired with the Officer in-Charge of Gorchuk. He has denied the charges of physical assault,” the Commissioner said.
The victim’s brother, Gopal Mandal, had yesterday lodged a complaint with the Police Commissioner, alleging that an ASI had assaulted his brother physically while in police custody and also demanded money to remove his name from the list of the accused.
“We were told by doctors that Krishna sustained serious injuries on the head,” advocate Saurabh Nag, who is pursuing the case with the Human Rights Commission and Police Accountability Commission, said.
In a written representation to the Police Commissioner, the victim’s brother has sought stringent action against the police personnel involved as well as compensation to the family for the loss and mental agony.