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Custodial death: CPI seeks judicial probe

Staff Reporter

Party activists stage a dharna in front of police station

BERHAMPUR: Activists of the CPI staged a dharna and a demonstration in front of the Chamakhandi police station on Wednesday demanding judicial inquiry into the custodial death of youth in the station on Tuesday. The Police Department is likely to get into a major controversy regarding the custodial death as social and civil rights' activists differed over the claims of the police about the identity of the victim. Autopsy of the body of the deceased was done on Wednesday morning at the MKCG Medical College Hospital in the city. The Ganjam police reiterated that the deceased was Raju Nayak of Rambha who had been rounded up by the police of Chamakhandi police station on Monday night and a gun was also seized from him. But the agitating CPI members and the civil rights' activists claimed the deceased to be Lalit Dehuri, a resident of Dasapalla area of Nayagarh district who was arrested by the Ganjam police on February 9 from Patapur area along with two minor girls on charges of having Maoist links.

The agitating CPI activists included former MLA of Chatrapur N. Narayan Reddy, zonal secretary of the party Simanchal Sahu, Zilla Parishad members Kailash Palei and Giri Prasad. Speaking to The Hindu, Mr. Reddy alleged that the people of Chatrapur had seen the deceased person getting beaten up at Chatrapur police station on Monday. He was later shifted to the Chamakhandi police station. He suspected that the deceased was Lalit who had died of police atrocities and the police officials were trying to suppress this custodial death by providing a fake identity and suicide theory. “If Lalit has not died then we demand the Ganjam police to immediately produce him in court as an arrested person cannot be kept in police custody for such a long time without permission of court,” Mr. Reddy said.

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