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Vikash Sharma

Cuttack: The Odisha Government on Tuesday furnished its reply in the Orissa High Court over the alleged custodial death in Puri. In its affidavit, the State government informed the Court that a compensation of Rs 5 lakh has already been provided to the family of the deceased K Apana alias Ramesh.

“A petition has already been filed before the district judge for a judicial probe into the matter,” the State government mentioned in its affidavit.

Meanwhile, the custodial death case has taken a new twist after the petitioner, Sarat Rayguru alleged that the then Superintendent of Police, Akhileswar Singh was present at Baseli Sahi Police Station during the incident.

The petitioner, in its reply before the High Court, also mentioned that the deceased K. Ramesh was picked from his house instead of the police claims that he was nabbed from outside.

It is pertinent to mention here that the family of the deceased had also earlier alleged that cops had picked Ramesh from his house on November 16 night. Later, he was found dead in the district headquarters hospital.

The police, in its counter, had apprised the High Court that Ramesh’s demise was not a custodial death, but he died after falling on the ground during a scuffle with police.

Later, petitioner Sarat Kumar Rayguru, a Puri-based lawyer, had filed a petition seeking court monitored investigation and immediate action against the police officials involved in the case apart from compensation to the family of the deceased.

The body of the deceased was cremated on November 19 without handing it over to the family members or allowing them to see it, the petitioner had alleged.

However, senior officials of Puri police had subsequently claimed that the body of K Ramesh was held in the presence of an executive magistrate, father of the deceased K Gurumurty and paternal uncle.

On November 20, The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) issued a notice to the Odisha government in connection with the alleged custodial death.

The NHRC had expressed its displeasure that such custodial deaths are still occurring despite the Supreme Court’s guidelines on custodial treatment of accused. The NHRC directed the Odisha government to submit the copies of the FIR, arrest and inspection memos of the person who allegedly died in police custody.

(Edited By Suryakant Jena)

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