KOTA: A 28-year-old alleged drug addict picked up by police for questioning in a bike lifting case but "let off" within an hour last evening at Baran near here was found dead near his house today morning, prompting his family members to allege custodial torture as cause of death and eliciting denial by the police.
The police, however, have registered a case under section 174 of the Criminal Procedure Code to enquire into the unnatural death of the victim.
The police said Jitendra Saini alias Jittu, a resident of Harnawda Shahaji Road at Baran near here was picked up yesterday by Chipabarode police station personnel for an enquiry into theft of four five bikes from local market but was let off within an hour after he was found not involved in the crime.
Saini was picked up because in a CCTV camera footage of the area, one of the bike lifters appeared similar to him, but he was released after he was found a different person on closer scrutiny, said area Deputy Superintendent of Police Pradeep Hapawat.
He said the man was found dead near his house today morning, prompting his family members to wrongly allege custodial torture behind his death.
Refuting allegations against the police, Hapawat, however, said two constables, who had picked up Saini for enquiry but just released him after questioning without bothering to hand him over to his family, have been transferred to the police lines for their procedural slip ups.
The DySP said Saini was a drug addict and after his release, instead of returning home, he went somewhere else for his daily dose of drug, where he even took a drug injection and was found dead near his home round 4 am today.
Following discovery of Sani's body, his family members and relatives stormed the police station alleging custodial torture behind his death, he said, adding that the restive crowd, however, returned back after counselling by police.
After discovery of Sani's body, it was sent for autopsy and later returned to his family members for last rites, said Chipabarode SHO Ratan Singh Bhati, adding the police have also registered a case under section 174 of the CrPC to enquire into his unnatural death.
DSP Hapawat is holding further enquiry into the matter, he added.
Refuting allegations of custodial torture, the SHO said Saini had also got an electric shock a few days ago and his condition was not sound. Baran SP DD Singh too denied Sani's custodial torture as cause of his death.