Quota row: 9 policemen booked in alleged custodial death

Quota row: 9 policemen booked in alleged custodial death

Quota row: 9 policemen booked in alleged custodial death

After the Gujarat High ordered a CID probe, nine policemen including two inspectors and a sub-inspector have been booked for the alleged custodial death of a 32-year-old man detained during Patel quota agitation.

Hardik Patel, who is leading the agitation by Patel community for reservation under OBC quota, today said he is likely to attend funeral of the victim, Swetang Patel, tomorrow and warned that government will be held responsible "if anything happens".

Assistant Commissioner of Police K D Pandya said police inspectors P D Parmar and R R Vasava of Bapunagar were among nine policemen booked in the Swetang Patel death case.
"We had late last night registered an FIR in Swetang Patel's death case against two police inspectors of Bapunagar, one D-staff PSI and six other policemen of D-staff for causing death," Pandya told PTI.

D-staff or detection staff is responsible for conducting investigations in cases filed with a police station.

However, advocate for the victim's family B M Mangukia claimed that the FIR did not have names of all the police officials responsible for the alleged custodial death.

"We had demanded that all those responsible be named, but they (police) did not register an FIR as per our demand and left out many high ranking officials, including ACP. We do not want to make lower ranked policemen a scapegoat in the case," Mangukia told PTI.

"We sat in the police station for about five hours to register an FIR.... This is non-compliance of the high court order and a contempt of court as well," Mangukia added.

Swetang was allegedly forcibly taken away by police on August 25. A plea was moved by Prabhaben Patel, Swetang's mother, which said he was allegedly beaten by the police and ultimately he succumbed to the injuries. The Gujarat High had ordered a second autopsy of the body which stated that he had died due to severe head injury.

Observing that prima facie it was a case of homicide, the HC yesterday directed the administration to file an FIR and also ordered a CID probe.

Meanwhile, agitation leader Hardik Patel said, "I am likely to take part in funeral of Swetang Patel tomorrow."

When asked if the Patel community members will take any "precautionary steps" during the funeral procession, Hardik said government will be held responsible if anything happens.

"I have urged my community people to keep calm, but if anything wrong happens there (in the funeral procession), government will have to take responsibility," Hardik told PTI
Hardik's detention after the mega rally on August 25 that he organised for reservation was followed by widespread violence in the state in which ten people including a police constable lost their lives.

Following the violence, curfew was clamped in various parts of the state including Ahmedabad city on August 26.

Curfew has been lifted today from all the areas of the city, including Bapunagar where the funeral is likely to take place tomorrow.

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