Two Punjab cops suspended for custodial death

Two Punjab Police officials have been suspended over the custodial death of a man following alleged harassment and torture, police said on Saturday.

Updated: Nov 13, 2010, 11:57 AM IST

Fatehgarh Sahib: Two Punjab Police officials have been suspended over the custodial death of a man following alleged harassment and torture, police said on Saturday.

Hardeep Singh, a 28-year-old who was arrested for the theft of 15 cell phones, ended his life in the lock-up at Khamano police station in this district earlier this week. He had hanged himself from a ceiling hook by using his trousers, police said.

"During preliminary investigation, we found that harassment and intense torture by police drove Hardeep to suicide. We have suspended head constable Gurbaksheesh Singh and constable Manjit Singh. They have been sent to the police lines and a departmental inquiry has been initiated against them," a senior police official told a news agency requesting anonymity.

"Hardeep had stolen 15 mobile phones from a shop in Barwali village here and was later arrested. The deputy superintendent of police at Fatehgarh Sahib is the inquiry officer in this case and he will submit his report at the earliest," the official added.
Punjab Police had earlier termed it as a simple incident of suicide but the intervention of the media and Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC) led them to take action against the errant officials.

Taking serious note of the custodial death, PSHRC has issued a notice to Fatehgarh Sahib district police chief and directed him to submit a detailed report by Dec 15.

IANS