Another accused dies in police custody

Bhubaneswar: A theft accused, arrested by Mancheswar police station earlier on Wednesday, allegedly died due to torture in police custody here.

Sanjay Das (32), a fish vendor was caught on charges of theft, died at a private hospital. The family members of the deceased alleged that he was tortured in police custody. "Sanjay succumbed to injuries after being manhandled by mob, who caught him stealing a battery from a truck," said City DCP Nitinjeet Singh and refuted the allegation.

He also announced a magisterial probe into Das`s death, which came in the backdrop of the alleged custody death of Kuldeep Mohapatra in Saheed Nagar police station on June 5 and alleged assault charge against Kharvelnagar police by a cyber crime accused on June 28.

"We were worried after Das did not return home on Tuesday night. On Wednesday morning, around 10 am, I received a call from police that my brother was admitted in Capital Hospital. Around 11 am, I received another call about his death," victim`s elder brother Laxman Das said.

Police on the other hand claimed that Das was rescued by police from the clutches of mob. "After medication, doctors asked our staff to take him back," the DCP said.

He was brought to police station. Around 10 am, he complained of chest pain and the police immediately rushed him to a private hospital where he died. "The question of torture does not arise at all. The exact cause of his death can be known after postmortem," Singh said. Meanwhile, the police have arrested a man in connection with the mob attack on Das. "We will arrest others who beat him," Singh said.

Doctors at the private hospital where Das died said he was brought in a critical state. "We only found injury in the nail of his right index finger. He died within ten minutes after his arrival in hospital," said Dr Nabakishore Pattnaik, medical superintendent of the hospital.