17-year-old dies after alleged police torture in UP

Lakhimpur Kheri (Uttar Pradesh), January 24, 2022

A 17-year-old boy, who was allegedly beaten mercilessly by his uncle and three cops inside a police outpost on suspicion of mobile theft, died at a hospital in Uttar Pradesh's Lakhimpur Kheri.

Three policemen, including an officer in charge of the outpost, have been suspended.

The boy's family alleged that cops were "directly involved in the assault".

Lakhimpur Kheri SSP Sanjeev Suman said: "We are investigating the complaint against the policemen and no one will be spared if found guilty."

A video, now viral on social media, has the boy's family showing external injuries on his body to a senior policeman.

Palia Circle Officer (CO), Sanjay Nath Tiwari said: "The post-mortem examination will be conducted on Monday and the report will help us to ascertain the reason of death.

"The boy's family has filed two complaints and we have registered an FIR under section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of IPC against his uncle Ram Bahadur and neighbour Rajveer Singh. The second complaint is against a sub-inspector and two constables. We are probing the case in detail and will take action against the cops in question, accordingly."

The boy's elder sister alleged that her brother, a day before his death, told her that he was thrashed by cops for a "confession".

Narrating the sequence of events, she said: "The cops came to our house for my brother. My mother accompanied him to a nearby police outpost and she was sent back home. After a few hours, we received a call to take my brother. But when my parents reached there, they found him badly beaten and crying in pain. He said he was beaten mercilessly by cops and my uncle. They brought him home and when his condition deteriorated, he was admitted to a hospital in Palia town where he succumbed during treatment."

The boy was the only son of farmer Laxmi Ram and youngest amongst four siblings. On January 17, the mobile phone of his cousin went "missing" and his uncle Ram Bahadur lodged a police complaint and the cops reached the house on January 19 and took him to Khajuriya police outpost where the incident took place.

The incident comes three months after another alleged custodial death in Kasganj where Mohammad Altaf, 22, who was held by police for "kidnapping" a minor Hindu girl, was later found "hanging" from a tap inside a washroom in the lockup.

The missing girl turned out to be an adult and later told police that she was never kidnapped.

In another such incident, a sanitation worker, Arun Valmiki, who was held by police for allegedly stealing Rs 25 lakh from the strong room of Jagdishpura police station, had died in police custody.

His family had alleged that he died in police custody due to "torture".


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