Suryakant Jena

Bargarh Superintendent of Police has requested ADG, Human Rights Protection Cell (HRPC) to conduct an independent probe into the alleged custodial death of a youth in the western Odisha town on Saturday.

"Investigation into this saddening incident is being carried as per the NHRC guidelines. Apart from a judicial magistrate inquiry, I have requested the HRPC to carry out a separate probe into the case," SP Rahul Jain informed the media on Sunday.

Meanwhile alleging that police excess led to the death of Gobinda Kumbhar, a resident of Tora village, his brother Jiten Kumbhar has demanded stringent punishment for the culprits. "I demand harshest of punishment even up to hanging to those who have killed my brother," said Jiten.

A joint action forum demanding justice to the family of Gobinda following the incident has said that it hopes the independent HRPC and judicial inquiry by a retired High Court judge will ascertain the exact circumstances under which the youth died.

As per sources, Gobinda was picked up by police on Friday night in connection with a quarrel case filed at the Town Police Station on July 20 this year. A day after, he was shifted to the district headquarters hospital after his health condition deteriorated under mysterious circumstances but unfortunately the doctors declared him pronounced dead.

The family members of the youth alleged that he was tortured in police custody throughout the night that led to his death.

Following the death, the bereaved family members and fellow villagers held protests and vandalized the property of the hospital. Tension also ran high near the district headquarters hospital after a violent scuffle broke out between police personnel and the protesters demonstrating the death of Gobinda.