Detainee found hanging in police custody

NEPALGUNJ, NOVEMBER 20

A detainee allegedly committed suicide in the custody of District Police Office, Banke, this morning.

Police claimed that Babulal Raidash of Bankatwan, Duduwa Rural Municipality-3, hanged himself in the custody’s toilet. Police had been interrogating Raidash for his alleged role in a murder and manhandling case.

This image shows District Police Office in Banke district, in May 2019. Photo courtesy: Pratik Gupta

According to police, Raidash hanged himself with a scarf at 5:00am today. The deceased’s relatives, however, rejected the police claim and alleged that he died due to police torture. Raidash’s kin do not buy the police argument that he killed himself with a piece of cloth he was putting on. They have sought a probe into his death.

Patilal Raidash, who is a relate of the deceased, cast doubt over the police claim.

“This is not suicide. Babulal succumbed to police torture,” he alleged. He demanded that Babulal’s death be investigated by local administration, human rights activists, and other stakeholders.

Banke Deputy Superintendent of Police Subhash Khadka, however, refuted the relatives’ allegation. “The post-mortem report will reveal the truth. We have CCTV footage which relatives can see,” Khadka said.

According to Khadka, Babulal hanged himself from a ventilation window. The body has been sent for post-mortem in the presence of human rights activists, peoples’ representatives and administration representatives.

The incident ran into controversy as relatives and family members were not called before sending the body for post-mortem.

Khadka claimed that they had called the ward chair as family members could not come. Patilal rejected Khadka’s claim.

Babulal was nabbed on manhandling and murder charge on October 30 and had been in police custody since then. Khadka claimed that Babulal had entered the toilet at 5:00am. After he did not come out for half an hour, other detainees and on-duty police broke open the door and found him hanging.

After the post-mortem, Babulal’s body was sent home. But his family refused to receive the body and it was left stranded on the road. “We were not informed before the body was sent for the post-mortem. We will not receive the body as police action leaves enough space for doubt,” Patilal added.

He said they would not receive the body until an investigation was carried into the incident. “We want a fair investigation,” Patilal added.


A version of this article appears in print on November 21, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.


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