Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhadrak, Feb 29:
An angry mob went on a rampage at the Aradi police outpost in Odisha’s Bhadrak district today damaging furniture and fixtures and injuring at least one policemen after news broke out about the death of an under trial prisoner (UTP) at the Bhadrakh Special Sub Jail.
Angry locals of Pahana and other nearby villages gheraoed the police outpost severely thrashed the constable on duty alleging custodial torture leading to the death of the under trial prisoner Debadutta Barik today who hailed from Pahana. The mob which pelted stones at the outpost also damaged two motorcycles kept in its premises. The villagers had also blocked the Akhandalmani-Bhadrak main road. The mob demanded a judicial inquiry into the death of Debadutta.
“My son had only worked for 17 days. They trapped him. The priests of Aradi trapped my son. The police today killed my son,” said a wailing inconsolable Debaki Barik, mother of deceased Debadutta to reporters.
The situation was brought under control after a platoon of policemen led by Bhadrak SDPO Sudhakar Jena rushed to the spot and assured the villagers that a magisterial level inquiry would be conducted into the death of Debadutta.
“He died while he was in judicial custody. His death occurred at around 6 AM today. The case is under investigation. The allegations made by his family members are subject to probe,” said Sudhakar Jena, SDPO Bhadrak.
It may be mentioned here that police had arrested Debadutta of Pahana village and two others on February 22 on the charges of stealing valuables from the hundi (donation box) inside the Akhandalamani temple. The temple authorities had filed complaint against two security personnel at the local police station who were on duty at the time of the loot in the wee hours on February 18.
Acting on the complaint, Dhusuri police had launched an investigation into the case and arrested three persons for their alleged involvement in the case. Police had recovered gold, a naga (holy metal snake) and Rs 12, 000 from their possession. Over Rs 4 lakh cash and jewellery had been allegedly looted from the donation box between 1 am and 4 am in the wee hours on February 18.
Debadutta, who was remanded to the Bhadrak Special Sub Jail on February 23, complained of uneasiness today and was taken to the doctor inside the jail premises for a check-up.
Based on the doctor’s advice, Debadutta was brought to the district headquarters hospital here by the jail staff where after a checkup attending doctors gave him medicines but he died soon thereafter.