JAJPUR: An undertrial prisoner (UTP) died in police custody at Dharmasala police station in Jajpur district on Saturday night. He has been identified as Gayadhar Tarai (40) of Kukudanga village under Salepur police limits in Cuttack district.
Tarai was arrested by Dharmasala police from Paga under Jagatpur police limits for his involvement in a bomb attack case on Saturday. Meanwhile, his family members have alleged that Gayadhar died due to torture in police custody on Saturday night.
The victim’s brother Rabindra said Gayadhar was working in a fish godown and used to return home every evening after duty, but he did not return home for the last two days. “We came to know about his death in police custody from a news channel on Saturday night. After reaching the place, we found his body lying in Dharmasala CHC on Sunday morning,” he added.
“I saw many injury marks on his body. He was beaten up in custody,” Rabindra alleged.
Police, however, claimed that Gayadhar complained of abdomen pain while in custody and they admitted him to a nearby hospital, where he died.
Dharmasala CHC authorities said they received Gayadhar brought dead. “Dharmasala police brought Gayadhar in its police vehicle at about 9 pm on Saturday. We received him brought dead,” said Manas Ranjan Swain, doctor on duty.
Jajpur SP Charan Singh Meena said the body has been sent to District Headquarters Hospital for postmortem to ascertain the cause of death. Besides, a DSP-level officer is investigating the incident and action would be taken against the police if found guilty.
The custodial death has also come in for sharp criticism from both the BJP and the Congress.
Meanwhile, a BJP delegation, led by Surendra Kumar Panda, met the Jajpur SP and submitted a memorandum demanding a high-level enquiry into the incident.