Jharkhand: Activist Who Protested Against Use Of Heavy Explosives in Dhanbad Colliery Found Dead

Umesh Singh's family grieves before Dhanbad MLA, Inset: A file photo of Umesh Singh Pic: Prabhat Khabar

Umesh Singh’s family grieves before Dhanbad MLA, Inset: A file photo of Umesh Singh Pic: Prabhat Khabar

Source:  http://tinyurl.com/pefrpso (Hindustan Times, Ranchi)

DHANBAD, 26 June 2015: The family of a 45-year old man, whose body was recovered from a bush a day after he was allegedly picked up by the police, said on Thursday that he had been murdered in custody by policemen who had been harassing him for money for the past month or so. Umesh Singh, a resident of Ghanudih, was among a group of people against whom police had filed cases in May for protesting against the use of heavy explosives at the Ghanudih colliery, which had left their homes shaken.

Singh’s widow Babita Devi alleged the police had since been harassing him for money to withdraw the case. “Around 10pm on Tuesday, a constable from Ghanuadih police station came to our house and asked my husband to come with him, saying the office-in-charge had called him for interrogation regarding the case filed against him,” said Devi.

The next morning, his body was found from the bushes in Baphar Joria area, about half a kilometre from the police station. Singh’s family claimed police had demanded Rs. 6,000 to settle the case against him. But superintendent of police Rakesh Bansal rubbished the allegation of custodial death and said the body was not recovered from the police lockup.

“Singh was not picked up by police,” Bansal said, adding it was a case of murder and an investigation was underway. When asked why Singh’s bloodstained clothes were found inside the lockup, Bansal said a group of people who forcibly entered the police station after the body was recovered might have put these in the lockup to implicate the police. “There are no external injuries on his body. However, we are awaiting the medical reports to know the exact cause of death,” he said.

After the body was recovered, the locals gheraoed the police station and demanded the arrest of the officials. They also briefly blocked the Jharia-Baliapur main road. This is the sixth alleged case of custody death in Dhanbad over the last five years.

For a detailed look at the incident, see: http://epaper.prabhatkhabar.com/528512/DHANBAD-City/DHANBAD#page/1/2 and http://epaper.prabhatkhabar.com/528512/DHANBAD-City/DHANBAD#page/9/2

People in Dhanudih protesting Umesh Singh's death, demand a case registered against local police.

People in Dhanudih protesting Umesh Singh’s death, demand a case registered against local police. Pic: Prabhat Khabar

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