'Custodial death victim was tortured by police'

The custodial death of a vehicle theft accused at the Chintamani Rural police station on Tuesday night has taken a new twist with the victim’s family alleging that the police had physically tortured him and demanded Rs 5 lakh to close the theft case.

H C Manjunath (32), a lorry owner and a resident of Hindaganala village in Hoskote taluk of Bangalore Rural district died at the police station when he was reportedly brought there for questioning regarding a lorry theft case.

Manjunath’s brother Srinivas said his sibling was picked up by Shidlaghatta police for questioning on November 2 and he was illegally detained till November 6.

“As the police had physically tortured him, Manjunath died at the Shidlaghatta police station. Later, the police shifted to him Chintamani and they tried to get him medical aid,” Srinivas said.

He alleged that police had frequently shifted Manjunath from one police station to the another. “Police had not informed the family of Manjunath’s death till late Tuesday night and they had allegedly tried to hush up the incident.”

Manjunath’s family on Wednesday staged a demonstration in Chintamani town and urged the government to initiate action against the police officers allegedly responsible for his death.

Manjunath was the sole bread winner for his family and, his sudden death has shocked his kin. He is survived by his mother, wife and a two-year-old daughter.

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