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Dilip Kumar

Puri: A man accused in several criminal cases reportedly died in police custody at Baseli Sahi area in Puri on Thursday, triggering palpable tension in the area.

One K Ramesh sustained injuries during a scuffle with police when the latter had gone to nab him on Wednesday night. Later, he was admitted to district headquarters hospital where doctors declared him dead, Puri Superintendent of Police (SP) Akhileswar Singh informed, adding that it will be treated as a custodial death.

An autopsy has been conducted by a team of doctors in the hospital, he said.

“Police received a tip-off yesterday that Ramesh of Baseli Sahi area has some weapons in his possession and was planning to execute a crime. When a team of police chased to catch him, Ramesh attacked the security forces. There was a scuffle between the police and Ramesh during which Ramesh sustained injuries. Some of our officers also got minor injuries. He was taken to the police station and later shifted to hospital after he complained of body pain. He was declared dead by the doctors,” Singh said.

The SP further stated that the accused was recently released from Talcher jail. Several cases were pending against him in Sadar, Sea Beach and Kumbharpada police stations in Puri, Singh informed.

“We are investigating his death as per NHRC's guidelines with respect to custodial death. A DSP rank officer will investigate the case under the direct supervision of Additional SP. Further action will be taken as per law once the investigation is over,” he said.

Meanwhile, the victim's relatives have alleged that Ramesh has died due to police excess. Tension prevailed outside the district headquarters hospital after some locals accompanied by BJP workers clashed with the police.

"A team of police knocked at our door at around 2 am last night. They picked up my husband and were asking him Ramesh's whereabouts. In the morning, we came to know that he is dead," a relative of Ramesh said.

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