A 21-year-old man, Altaf had allegedly died in police custody on Monday, November 8 in Kasganj, Uttar Pradesh. In the morning of the same day, the police had purportedly taken him to the Sardar police station for interrogation after accusing him of eloping with a woman.
The police claim his death in the police custody to be suicide but Altaf’s family members are not ready to accept their claim. Briefing about the incident, Rohan Bothre, Superintendent of Police informed that the Kaskanj station house officer, two sub-inspectors, a head officer and a constable have been suspended citing their negligence on the duty. He said that “Altaf, son of Chahat Miya was brought for interrogation on Monday morning on the charge of eloping away with a woman. Meanwhile, during the interrogation, Altaf asked the policeman to use the bathroom. The police officer allowed him to do so and sent him to the bathroom inside the lock-up. After a while, when Altaf didn’t come out, a worker went to check on him where he found him dead. Altaf had tightened his jacket’s hood around his neck by tying it to a pipe.”
However, the angle of suicide in the custodial death given by Sardar police station seems suspicious as the pipe through which Altaf was found hanging is at the height of 2 feet and he himself was 5.6 feet tall.
Reacting to the custodial death incident, political leaders and many others have criticized the Uttar Pradesh government and the Kasganj police for allegedly killing a youth and foul playing his death as a suicide.
The General Secretary of Congress, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra tweeted, “It is clear from incidents like the death of Altaf in Kasganj, Arun Valmiki in Agra, Rajesh Kori in Sultanpur in police custody that the protectors have become predators. UP tops the country in terms of police custodial death. The law and order situation is in complete disarray under the BJP rule in the state. No one is safe here.”
Questioning the Yogi government in UP, the former Congress President and MP from Wayanad, Rahul Gandhi on Twitter said, “ Is there anything called Human Rights left in Uttar Pradesh?”
Also, Samajwadi Party President, Akhilesh Yadav took to Twitter to condemn the incident and said, “The custodial death of a young man, brought for questioning in Kasganj. is very suspicious. The suspension of some policemen in the name of negligence is just for namesake. There must be a judicial inquiry in this matter for justice for the restoration of trust in the police under the BJP rule.”
Mayawati, the National President of BSP said, “The death of another youth in police custody in Kasganj is very sad and shameful. The government should give strict punishment to the culprits by conducting a high-level inquiry into the incident and also to help the victim’s family. It is a matter of great concern that the UP government proving to be unsuccessful in preventing death in police custody and making the police the savior of the public,” in her tweet.
Questioning the incident, the former union minister and senior advocate, Salman Khurshid also took to Twitter and said, “ Is UP Police dancing to the tune of BJP govt: extreme prejudice against freedom of citizen who lives life by rules of constitutional faith. The death in custody of a young man in Kasganj is the latest example. Will there be accountability?