Man dies in custody, 7 policemen suspended

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Panchkula, Dec 18 (UNI) A man died in police custody here yesterday allegedly due to severe beating by police personnel, sparking off protests from local residents.

Seven policemen, including a sub-inspector, have been suspended in connection with the death of 28-year-old Jogi, who was picked up by the CIA staff police on December 8 from his residence at Shahbad locality regarding a two-month-old theft case.

According to the family of the deceased, they were kept in dark about his whereabouts but yesterday they got a word that Jogi had been taken to Sector 6 General hospital here.

When they reached the hospital last night, they were shocked to see Jogi's dead body. As the news spread, a number of people gathered to protest outside Shahbad police station and pelted it with stones.

The angry crowds began gathering at the hospital early this morning following which Deputy Commissioner Rajendra Kataria and Superintendent of Police Sandeep Khikhar reached the hospital with a police party.

On their request, District Chief Judicial Magistrate Anshu Shukla also reached the hospital. After preliminary probe, the district administration suspended seven police personnel, including Sub-inspector Haripal Singh Walia, Hawaldar Bhagwan Das, Raghupal, Pawan, Chandrapal, Joginder and driver Shamlal.

Mr Khikhar pacified the crowd with the assurance that a thorough probe will be held into the matter soon and anyone found guilty will face stringent punishment.

Meanwhile, relatives and neighbours of the deceased told newspersons here today that the police has been ''picking up'' youth from the Dheha colony in Shahbad and releasing them only after receiving money. They alleged that to release Jogi, the policemen had demanded Rs 30,000, which his family had been unable to pay.

UNI

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