Sweeper suspected of stealing ₹25 lakh dies allegedly in police custody in Agra

FIR lodged against police on complaint by family of the deceased.

A sweeper who was suspected of stealing ₹25 lakh from a police station warehouse in Agra allegedly died in police custody during the recovery of the amount on Wednesday.

A first information report was lodged after his family alleged that he was assaulted after being picked up for questioning.

On October 17, ₹25 lakh went missing from the warehouse of the Jagdishpura police station following which five policemen – the local SHO, an SI and three constables who were on duty – were suspended for negligence and a probe was initiated.

The sweeper was detained and questioned as a suspect, said police.

SSP Agra Muniraj G. said the sweeper had allegedly confessed to the crime and a police team took him to his house where he said he had hidden the cash.

While recovering the amount, his “health suddenly went bad,” said Mr. Muniraj. The police and his family rushed him to a hospital where a doctor declared him brought dead, said the SSP.

Police had managed to recover ₹15 lakh of the stolen ₹25 lakh from him, said the officer.

An FIR was lodged against the policemen concerned on the complaint of the family alleging that he died of police action, said the SSP.

Further legal action would be taken on the basis of the post mortem report and investigation, he added.

ADG Agra Rajeev Krishna said departmental action would also be taken against the policemen found guilty in the case.

Akhilesh seeks action

Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav demanded strict action against the police, accusing them of murder.

“Under the BJP government, the police is itself committing crime so how will crime stop,” he asked.

Raising suspicion over the initial theft incident, he alleged it was “committed as part of a collusion”. “The murder of the ‘safai karmi’ in custody to hide the truth has stunned us,” Mr. Yadav tweeted.

Priyanka seeks probe

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra demanded a high-level probe and action against the policemen. She also said the family of the deceased person should be provided compensation.

“What kind of justice is it to beat someone to death in police custody,” she asked.

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