OHRC orders inquiry into custodial death at Malkanagiri SP office

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Human Rights Commission (OHRC) has directed the police administration to investigate the death of a person in police custody in Malkanagiri district.

The Commission acting on two separate petitions filed by rights activist Akhand, Biswapriya Kanungo and Bijay Kumar Panda has ordered to the south-western DIG(police) to submit reports on the matter in four weeks.

One person died in police custody on 28 December at the office of the Superintendent of Police of Malkangiri in Odisha. Soma Kabasi of Jandraguda village in Malkanagiri was arrested by the police for his alleged association with Maoists on 27 December last year. Other 11 persons were arrested on the same day.

But his dead body was found in the suspicious condition in the premises of SP of Malkangiri.

According to the police, the person sought permission to go to the bathroom. He went inside and did not come out after a considerable time. Police personnel present there got suspicious and broke open the bathroom to find Kabasi attempting to hang with the help of a towel. He was rescued and rushed to the hospital where doctors declared him brought dead.

“It is the duty of the state to provide security and safety and well being of an accused in custody. But here due to the negligence of the police staff, one accused was died, said Akhand.

As it is a custodial death, police are responsible and action must be taken against them and compensation should also be awarded to the victim’s family, said Kanungo.

Taking cognizance on the issue, acting chairperson of OHRC Justice B.K.Misra has also directed the police officer to submit reports of post-mortem, inquest and arrest memos. The Commission also wants to know about the provision of magistrate inquiry into the incident according to CrPC 176(1A).