The family members of the victim, Bijoy Deb (36), alleged that the deceased was tortured in the custody which led to his death. One of the family members said Bijoy was arrested in Noagoan village, Kamalpur, for allegedly creating nuisance in public under the influence of alcohol on Friday night. Around midnight, the sentry on duty noticed that Bijoy had collapsed inside the lockup and was immediately shifted to Kamalpur hospital where doctors declared him dead.
Dhalai SP Bijoy Debbarma said, “The exact reason for his death cannot be ascertained before the postmortem and inquiry reports are submitted. We have handed over the body to the family on Saturday after doing the necessary formalities. We have placed officer Manik Lal Mahanta and two other constables, on duty, under suspension. Also, we have started a separate inquiry.”
Debbarma pointed outthat the lockup is not under CCTV surveillance and so footage of the sequence of events is not readily available with the police. Necessary action will be taken once the medical and investigation reports are prepared, he added.
This is the second such incident in the state in a month. On May 1, Noor Islam (42), a resident of Chanban village in Udaipur, died inside the lockup at R K Pur police station in South Tripura.
Noor Islam was arrested last month on the allegations of creating trouble in a public place in an inebriated state. CCTV footage of RK Pur police station did not show any torture on Noor by the cops. In his case, the postmortem report indicated that he died of cardio respiratory arrest.
Civil society groups and Noor’s family members did not accept the reports. They are still fighting a legal battle believing that Noor died because of the torture either inside or outside the lockup.