Man dies in police custody in Tripura, TMC seeks judicial inquiry

By PTI

AGARTALA: A 35-year-old man, who was arrested in Tripura’s Sipahijala district on charges of robbery and drug smuggling, died in custody on Wednesday, prompting his family members to allege that he was tortured and killed at Sonamura police station.

Opposition TMC has sought a judicial inquiry into the case.

According to Sub-divisional Police Officer (SDPO) Banuj Biplab Das, the accused, Jamal Hussain, had developed chest pain around 2 am, following which he was taken to nearby Sonamura hospital.

Doctors there suggested that he be shifted to Melaghar hospital in the district, Das said.

“Hussain was released from Melaghar hospital following treatment. He was brought back to Sonamura police station and put behind bars again,” the SDPO stated.

The accused was, however, found dead in his cell in the morning, he said, adding that his body has been sent for post-mortem.

Dr Partha Pratim Das, who attended to Hussain, said he was brought to Melaghar hospital at 2.10 am, and released after treatment.

Deputy Collector and Magistrate (DCM) Manas Bhattacharya told reporters that police told him about the incident at 8 am.

“A doctor from Sonamura hospital, who visited the police station, informed me that the person has died,” he said.

Hussain, who was wanted for a robbery that dates back to 2009 and another drug smuggling case of 2016, had been working in Dubai for the past four years.

He came home recently for two months.

Ajufa Khatun, Hussain’s sister, claimed that his brother was tortured and killed at the police station.

“My brother had no ailment. The police are trying to hush up the case. There should be a proper inquiry into the matter,” she told reporters.

Echoing her, TMC leader Subal Bhowmick said that “it is a case of custodial death and a judicial inquiry should be instituted to find out the details”.

“A sitting high court judge should look into the matter and the culprit must be booked as soon as possible,” he added.