ROURKELA: The 36-year-old man, Pravakar Nayak alias Jhabu, who attempted self-immolation on the Uditnagar police station premises here to protest partisan attitude of cops, succumbed to burn injuries at the Ispat General Hospital (IGH) in the wee hours of Tuesday, triggering public outrage against the police.
On Monday evening, Nayak had gone to the police station to lodge a complaint against a woman, who happens to be the wife of a police constable, over monetary dispute. When police refused to register the complaint, he set himself on fire.
Taking serious note of the incident, members of the Rourkela Bar Association (RBA) led by president Ramesh Bal staged protest before the Additional SP, SC Zamadar in absence of the Rourkela SP. Bal described it as a blot in the history of Rourkela Police and demanded a high-level inquiry and stringent action against the policemen if found guilty.
Bal also resented that visitors are humiliated and harassed in all police stations on the plea of verification of identity.
Nayak’s brothers, Pradeep and Prakash claimed that the self-immolation should be treated as murder as he had to end his life due to the partisan attitude of police.
They claimed that the woman owed above `one lakh to Nayak and when he demanded her to return the money, she and her husband lodged a false police complaint of assault and misbehaviour. Subsequently, Nayak was jailed from January 24 to February 12. They said in the dying statement, Nayak spoke about the monetary dispute and refusal of police to accept his FIR against the woman.
Even as police tried to persuade them to receive the body for cremation, they refused to do so. They said they will receive Nayak’s body only after arrest of the couple and suspension of the Uditnagar police station in-charge, SN Muduli.
Muduli, however, refuted the allegation that Nayak’s FIR was not received and said he was alcoholic and took the extreme step due to frustration. Nayak had 15 pending petty cases and two cases of attempt to murder against him.
The Additional SP said the DSP (HRPC) would inquire and appropriate action would be taken on completion of investigation.
The Uditnagar police station had hogged the limelight in 2011 for assault on a judicial officer by the then IIC SN Pujari.