Sambalpur on Boil: Locals ransack, torch police station over custodial death

Sambalpur: Protesting the death of a man in police custody at Ainthapali police station in Sambalpur district late Thursday night, locals today wreaked havoc and ransacked the station premises. Property worth lakhs of rupees have been damaged during the incident, however fire personnel could not reach the spot due to road blockade by the local people.

The mob also torched almost all the vehicles kept on the police station premises.

To bring situation under control, police resorted to lathicharge after some agitators pelted stones and scuffled with the cops. Senior police officials including Sambalpur SP Sanjeev Arora have been monitoring the situation at the spot. As many as 7 platoons of police force have been deployed at the spot to control the situation.

Several people have been injured during the scuffle with police and admitted to hospital.

As per information, the locals went berserk after one Abinash Munda of Bhalupali village, who was arrested in connection with a theft case on Wednesday, was found hanging in the lockup on Thursday.

Family members alleged that Abinash was also brutally beaten up by cops as the body had injury marks at several places.

Irate over the incident, locals staged a road blockade near Bhalupali affecting vehicular traffic on Sambalpur-Jharsuguda road today morning.

Police took the body to district headquarters hospital and conducted inquest in presence of magistrate and family members. Later, they sent the body to VSS Medical College and Hospital in Burla for post-mortem.

On the one hand, the family members of the deceased alleged that Munda was beaten to death in the custody while the police claimed that he had committed suicide.

Briefing mediapersons, DGP RP Sharma said the IIC of the Ainthapali police station Srimanta Barik and other staff including the Diary Charge Officer (DCO) and Sentry in charge have been placed under suspension and strong departmental action will be initiated against them.

“The task of investigation of the case pertaining to the death of the accused in the custody has been given to the HRPC. Apart from this, Northern Range IG has been asked to conduct an independent inquiry at his level and submit a report quickly. Sambalpur SP has also been asked to submit a joint report with the District Magistrate as per the mandatory requirement and all possible and strong action will be ensured by the police,” Sharma said.