A youth called for questioning at Kasganj police station in a kidnapping case died in custody, with his family members alleging that he was killed by police personnel.
The police claimed that Altaf, 22, had strangulated himself using a string from his jacket hood in the washroom of the police lock-up and said five policemen have been suspended for negligence in the wake of the incident on Tuesday.
The opposition Samajwadi Party attacked the Yogi Adityanath government for "yet another custodial death", saying that criminals and police are committing an "encounter" of law and order in the state under the BJP rule.
Narrating the sequence of events, Superintendent of Police, Kasganj, Rohan Pramod Botre said on Wednesday, "One Altaf (of Nagla Syed locality) was called for questioning in Kasganj police station in a case related to IPC section 363 (kidnapping) and 366 (kidnapping, abducting or inducing a woman to compel her marriage) on Tuesday morning.
"During interrogation, he requested the policemen to go to the washroom and was allowed to use the washroom inside the lockup. "He was wearing a black colour jacket. He tried to strangulate himself with a string on the (jacket) hood that he tied to the tap of the toilet. When he did not return for some time, the policemen went inside and found him unconscious. He was rushed to the community health centre, Ashok Nagar in Kasganj, where he died," the SP said.
Postmortem of the victim is being conducted, he said. "The lax policemen will be punished. We have suspended five policemen in this connection," he said.
The victim's kin, however, alleged that he was killed by the policemen. The Samajwadi Party took to Twitter to attack the Yogi Adityanath government, calling the incident another misdeed of UP's "thoko (trigger-happy) police".
"In UP, under the patronage of the chief minister, criminal and police are committing an encounter of law and order. The guilty policemen should face a murder case and must be punished," Samajwadi Party said in a tweet in Hindi.
The incident comes close on the heels of a sanitation worker, who was accused of stealing Rs 25 lakh from Jagdishpura police station in Agra, dying in police custody after his health deteriorated during interrogation.
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