Sambalpur (Odisha): A tribal man in Sambalpur district allegedly died in police custody, sparking the angry reaction among the locals who today attacked the police station.The police said that many of its personnel posted at the Ainthapali Police Station were injured when the protesters resorted to stone-pelting.
The mob set ablaze vehicles parked in the premises of the police station, protesting 22-year-old Avinash Munda death, who was taken into police custody on a theft case and was found hanging inside the police lockup last night.
Vital documents of the police station were also set on fire, the police said.
Munda’s family members staged a road blockade before the police station.
Director general of police RP Sharma said three police personnel, including the inspector-in-charge of the police station, have been suspended.
“If any policeman was found responsible, he will not be spared,” the DGP said.
Inspector General of Northern Range Sushant Nath said Munda was found hanging in the lockup and declared dead after he was taken to the hospital.
While the police claimed that Munda, a resident of Bhalupali village, had committed suicide by using a bed sheet, his family members alleged that he was beaten to death.
The DGP said the superintendent of police and the district magistrate of Sambalpur have been asked to submit a report within 24 hours.
The ADG of the Human Rights Protection Cell (HRPC) has been asked to rush to the area, Sharma said.
The IG appealed to the people to maintain peace and not to take the law into their hands.
Meanwhile, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh to the next of kin of the tribal man who allegedly died in police custody in Sambalpur district on compassionate ground.
Expressing grief over the alleged custodial death of a 22-year-old tribal man, Patnaik also conveyed his deep sympathy to the bereaved family.
Abinash Munda of Bhalupali village, arrested in connection with a theft case by Ainthapali police, was found hanging with a bed-sheet inside the lockup last night.
While the victim’s family members alleged that he was beaten to death in the custody, the police claimed that he had committed suicide.
Ainthapali police station was today ransacked and set on fire by hundreds of angry local people including women over the custodial death.
DGP RP Sharma has ordered the Human Rights Protection Cell (HRPC) of the Odisha Police to probe into the incident.
The Inspector-in-Charge of Ainthapali police station, a sentry, a diary charge officer have been suspended for alleged negligence, police said.