The Director-General of Police (Sanjay Pandey) has asked the police force to take adequate self-protection measures while taking action and to also ensure that all precautionary measures are taken while lodging the arrested accused inside the lock-up so that custodial deaths can be prevented. The official communication has come after the recent incidents of the death of a policeman while trying to take action against the sand mafia in Solapur and the suicide of an accused inside police lockup at Amravati.
On September 25, police constable Ganesh Sonalkar, 32, was killed when a small truck carrying illegally mined sand in Solapur knocked him down when he was trying to stop it. The incident occurred at around 9.30 am at Mangalwedha village, when Sonalkar, signalled the vehicle to stop but the driver instead ran Sonalkar over. Two persons, including the driver, were arrested by the police.
Last month, a 25-year-old man, accused of abducting and raping a minor, allegedly died by suicide in a police lockup at Amaravati. According to the police, on August 19, the man hanged himself to death in the lockup room at Rajapeth police station. No suicide note was recovered. The youth was in police custody since August 18 and was to be sent to jail on August 20.
DGP Pandey told the force in the note, “In an extremely unfortunate incident, at Solapur, a police constable died while discharging his duty. While doing duty as a policeman, one should not assume that everyone would listen to us just because we are the police. If we take any action without ensuring our own safety then it could be risky.” He said custody deaths are also rising by the day. “Amravati incident, in which the accused committed suicide is serious and defaming the name of the police. It is necessary to take care while arresting and keeping the accused in custody and be aware that such incidents should not happen again.”