Sambalpur custodial death: Odisha DGP suspends 3 cops, orders HRPC probe

Sambalpur: Taking strong action in the custodial death of a person at the Ainthapali police station in Odisha’s Sambalpur district today, DGP RP Sharma suspended three police officials and ordered the Human Rights Protection Cell (HRPC) of the state police to probe into the incident.

The IIC of Ainthapali police station, a sentry, a diary charge officer (DCO) have been suspended for ‘their negligence’.

The Additional DG of the HRPC has been asked by the DGP to send a team of HRPC officers to Sambalpur today for investigation. Inspector General of Police (Northern Range), Sambalpur SP and Collector have also been asked to submit a report over the matter.

Sharma said strong action will be taken against anyone found responsible for the death of the person.

“In this entire episode, the IIC of Ainthapali police station, a sentry who was on duty there and a diary charge officer (DCO) have been placed under suspension for their negligence. Strong departmental action will be initiated against them,” the DGP said speaking to reporters.

“The task of investigation of this case pertaining to the death of the person at the police station has been given to the HRPC. Additional DG, HRPC has been asked to send a team of HRPC officers to investigate into the matter today itself,” the top cop said.

“IG, Northern Range has been asked to conduct an independent inquiry at his level and submit a report quickly. We shall take strong action against whosoever is responsible for the death. Sambalpur SP has been asked to submit a joint report with the district magistrate as per the mandatory requirement,” Sharma said.

On the other hand, the Odisha Human Rights Commission (OHRC), acting on a petition filed by a human rights activist, issued a notice to the Additional DG, HRPC asking him to submit a report within 3 weeks. The next hearing of the matter will be held on March 6.

Notably, Abinash Munda of Bhalupali village, arrested in connection with a theft case by Ainthapali police, was found hanging with a bed-sheet inside the lockup last night.

The family members of the deceased have alleged that he was beaten to death in the custody while police claimed that he had committed suicide.

Ainthapali police station was today ransacked and set on fire by hundreds of irate locals including women over the custodial death.

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