The family members of Ajay Kumar Biswal (48) of Iswarpur area in Balasore district, who had died in police custody 16 months back, demanded Crime Branch (CB) probe into the incident on Friday.
They made the demand after coming to know about the viscera report, which according to them, confirmed that death of Biswal did not occur due to poisoning. Earlier, police had claimed that Biswal fled from the custody and committed suicide by consuming poison.
Sources said Biswal, a native of Bankipada village under Nilagiri police limits, was found dead in a paddy field, a few metres from Iswarpur police outpost on November 24, 2011, a day after he was picked up by police for interrogation in connection with a woman harassment case.
While his family members had alleged that he was beaten to death in police custody and his body was later dumped in the paddy field, the cops claimed that he fled from the outpost and died after consuming poison. However, constable Manoranjan Mahalik was then placed under suspension following public outcry.
Biswal’s wife Kausalya alleged that Mahalik had beaten him to death in the hazat and thrown away his body to give an impression that he committed suicide. “Now the viscera report has confirmed that his death was not due to poisoning. We demand Crime Branch probe into the incident and the constable be booked under murder charges. We have been running from pillar to post since then. We want justice,” she said.
Echoing similar demands, the locals have urged the State Government to give compensation to the grieving family members of Biswal, a father of three.
Meanwhile, the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) has sought a report from Balasore Collector and SP following instructions from its national counterpart.
The instruction came after a petition was filed with the NHRC by human rights activist Akhand. He had moved the NHRC seeking fair probe, action against the guilty cops and compensation of ` 10 lakh for the victim’s family. Admitting his petition, the commission had entrusted its DG (investigation) to inquire into the matter.