Agartala: A 35-year-old man, arrested in connection with a NDPS case on Tuesday, died in the custody of Tripura police in Sepahijala district here on Wednesday.

The deceased, identified as Jamal Hussein, a resident of Kaladhepa village of Sepahijala district, was arrested on Tuesday night by the Sonamura police in connection with a five-year-old NDPS case.

“He was arrested and taken to Sonamura hospital for medical checkup, during which he complained of chest pain. However, after initial treatment at Sonamura hospital, he was released by the doctors. Later this morning, he was taken to the hospital again where the doctors declared him dead. According to preliminary reports, it seems he suffered cardiac arrest,” an on-duty officer from Sonamura police station told EastMojo on the condition of anonymity.  

The family members of the deceased have alleged police torture and demanded immediate action against them. The deceased is survived by his wife and three children. 

“They arrested Jamal without informing the members and pradhan of Kaladhepa village. When he tried to inform people, he was thrashed and taken into police custody,” said Ajufa Khatoon, sister of the deceased.

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She also said that the family members had visited the police station about 6 am to see him, but were not allowed by the police.

“When the family members returned at about 9 am, they were informed that Jamal was taken to hospital as he was not well. He was admitted to the hospital in the morning but the family members were not informed. This is inhuman and a pre-planned murder,” Khatoon added. 

“My father was picked by the Sonamura police late at night and he did not return home. He had returned home only three months back from Saudi Arabia and had his return tickets booked for September 22,” said Ali Ashraf, the 15-year-old son of the deceased.

“He was arrested by the police last night and was beaten by the cops on the way to the police station,” his sister said.

According to the police, Jamal was accused in a five-year-old NDPS case and has been ‘absconding’ for several years, as he was working in Dubai and returned home only three months ago.

“We picked him up last night from his residence under Kalapania gram panchayat to interrogate him in connection with an old NDPS case and brought him to the police station. He seemed physically fit and a medical test was also conducted by the doctors,” the on-duty official said.

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Sources told EastMojo that the villagers of Kalapania gram panchayat are likely to protest at the Sonamura police station to demand immediate action against the investigating officers.

TMC leader Subal Bhowmik condemned the death of the 35-year-old man and demanded a judicial probe by a sitting High Court Judge.

“The conviction rate is just 14 percent and the police are doing nothing against the criminals backed by the ruling BJP. He demanded judicial inquiry by a sitting judge,” Bhowmik said.    

Similar incidents were reported last year from different police stations and sub-jails of the state, following which the leader of the opposition, Manik Sarkar, had demanded a judicial inquiry into the deaths.

Sarkar had also said that this sort of act cannot be ignored or suppressed in a democracy without taking appropriate measures against such incidents.

The letter written on June 21, 2020, mentioned about four such incidents — unnatural death of Mangal Das at RK Pur police lockup on October 31, 2019; Sushanta Ghosh’s death in West Agartala police station lockup on January 12 last; Sandip Sarkar’s death in Central Jail (Correctional Home) on January 28 and Sajaio Mog’s death in Amarpur Jail on June 17.

However, the state government did not order any judicial probe for any of the custodial deaths. 

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