Dalit man dies in custody in Kanpur; family alleges 'police brutality'

Widespread protests broke out in Kanpur after a 25-year-old Dalit man died under suspicious circumstances in police custody on Tuesday.

NDTV reported that Kamal Valmiki was summoned to the police station on Tuesday for interrogation over a case of theft. Police later claimed that he committed suicide by hanging himself, while his family alleged that he died because of "police brutality".

Along with Station House Officer (SHO), Yogendra Singh, 12 police personnel were suspended and five cops were booked for murder, Hindustan Times reported.

"Twelve police personnel, including the station in-charge Yogendra Singh, have been suspended and strict action will be taken against them if found guilty," said SSP, Mathura, Shalabh Mathur.

Mathur said that a case has been registered under sections of murder and SC/ST Act based on the complaint of family members of deceased.

Further, Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police, Javed Ahmed while speaking to NDTV said, "A custody death is absolutely unacceptable. There is no question of not taking action."

Along with Valmiki, the police had rounded up another co-accused, Raju Mistri who has been reported as "missing".

Interestingly, when the police had sent Valmiki's body for post mortem, the corpse was allegedly bearing the name of Mistri. The police, however, denied these allegations and said it was "deliberate".

Following Valmiki's death, members of the Dalit community blocked the Kanpur-Lucknow highway, and started protesting by pelting stones at the police station. But senior police officials reached the spot to restore law and order.

With elections due next year, the Uttar Pradesh police has been receiving a lot of flak because of the Bulanshahr gangrape incident which once again brought the law and order situation under the Akhilesh Yadav government under scanner.

Updated Date: Aug 05, 2016 11:43 AM

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