Custodial death: Two cops suspended

By Our Correspondent

Agartala, January 14, 2020: Amidst statewide uproar over the custodial death of a youth in the police lockup of West Agartala police station on Sunday morning, who was arrested in connection of massive ATM fraud network, the state police administration on Monday evening has suspended two police personnel including the duty officer for dereliction in duty.

The police administration has also transferred the SP (Cyber Crime) Sharmistha Chakraborty, who are investigating the cases related to ATMs hacking network across Agartala and transferred the incumbent SDPO (Sadar) Dhruba Nath.

After protest from opposition parties demanding impartial enquiry for the death of the youth in police custody, Chief Minister Biplab Kamar Deb ordered for magisterial enquiry over the death of the youth Sushanta Ghosh (38) of Lankamura area under same police station of the city and concurrently the police administration as per guidelines framed by National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) have also started departmental enquiry on to the alleged custody death.

Police sources said that during incident night ASI Sanjib Debbarma was in duty at police station and constable Bishwarup Paul was in duty as sentry of lockup, were suspended on Monday evening for their negligence in duty.

Police sources said that they are yet to get the post-mortem report of the death from the three-member medical board and have sufficient proof and evidence that Sushanta Ghosh committed suicide at the West Agartala police station lock up in the wee hours of Sunday. The police on Monday has also appointed a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) from Serious Crime wing of state police  to investigate the matter.

West Tripura district magistrate sources said that the magisterial enquiry will be initiated after receiving of government order base on the guidelines of NHRC. As per guidelines of NHRC, DM or the SDM of the respective subdivision can be assigned for the task of investigation by the state government.

Ghosh's father Parimal Ghosh in his FIR with the police claimed that his son died following police torture in the lockup and there was no situation or any position to commit suicide inside the lockup by any arrested person as the entire lockup was close monitoring by police sentry and CCTV cameras and it was lined with the room, where police officers are seated.

"My son was arrested as the Turkish and Bangladeshi ATM hackers had earlier bought sweets from my shop. My son had helped them exchange dollars into rupees without knowing their (Bangladeshis) criminality, Ghosh said, and claimed that some injury marks have been found on his son's body.

Since Monday morning leaders of different political parties including opposition leader Manik Sarkar and few ruling MLAs including Dr Dilip Das and Sudip Roy Barman visited the victim house and met family members including two sons and wife of the deceased. They also conveyed their condolences to the bereaved family. 

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