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India

Updated on: Thursday, October 21, 2021, 07:12 PM IST

Priyanka Gandhi meets family of Dalit man who died in Agra police custody; victim's family pleads for justice

Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra interacts with the family members of sanitation worker Arun Valmiki, who died in police custody, in Agra on Thursday.  | ANI

Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra interacts with the family members of sanitation worker Arun Valmiki, who died in police custody, in Agra on Thursday. | ANI

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Congress General Secretary on Wednesday night met the family of Arun Valmiki, who died in police custody after he was arrested for allegedly stealing Rs 25 lakh from the malkhana (godown) of Jagdishpura Police Station in Agra.

According to a report, Kamala Devi, the 70-year-old mother of Arun Valmiki wept and pleaded with Priyanka for help.

Accusing the Agra Police of killing her son, Kamala Devi said that her son could not commit theft at the police station as cops were present there all the time. She said that the money was stolen by policemen and Arun knew their names. He was killed so that he could not report the matter to higher authorities.

Kamala Devi even fainted and was admitted to the hospital. Arun’s wife Sonam told Priyanka Gandhi that the entire family had been kept at the police station for five days. “The SHO told us to either sell the house or take a loan, as the police had to show the recovery of Rs 25 lakh. He threatened that if we did not do that, the whole family will be imprisoned,” she told Priyanka.

According to IANS, Priyanka told reporters, "Arun Valmiki's relatives told me that the entire family was tortured. They claimed that Valmiki was given electric shocks and his hands were crushed under chair by the police. Besides, around 40 members of the Valmiki community were also arrested and tortured."

Priyanka was allowed to proceed along with four others after being detained by the cops earlier in Lucknow - for a second time this month.

Earlier, her car was stopped at the first toll plaza on the Lucknow-Agra Expressway and she was taken into detention.

"If I am at home, ok. If I go to my office, ok. But the moment I go elsewhere, then they start this tamasha. Why? Eventually I will meet the family. This is becoming ridiculous... people are being affected. Look at the traffic (behind her stopped convoy)," she said.

Priyanka also underlined her constitutional right to free movement in the country.

A post-mortem was carried out on Arun Valimiki's body, which has now been handed over to the family. Agra Police informed that according to the post-mortem report of the sanitation worker, who had allegedly died in police custody, the cause of death is a heart attack.

(With agency inputs)

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Published on: Thursday, October 21, 2021, 07:12 PM IST
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