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Finger at police for custody death

Behrampore, Feb. 16: A 26-year-old Congress supporter arrested last afternoon in a kidnapping case was found hanging hours later in the bathroom of a Murshidabad police station with a muffler tied round the neck.

District superintendent of police Humayun Kabir said Rajiv Mollah had committed suicide. The Congress supporter’s wife, Bela, has lodged an FIR accusing the officer in charge of Raninagar police station, Biplab Karmakar, of beating her husband to death.

Kabir, who visited the police station later last evening, has relieved sub-inspector Anil Biswas of all duties. Biswas, who was on duty when the alleged suicide took place, has been sent to the Behrampore police lines.

State Congress president Adhir Chowdhury also accused the police of beating Rajiv to death. “We demand compensation for the family and punishment for those in the police responsible for his death. The Congress will tomorrow block roads in all 26 blocks of the district for an hour from 11am.”

Asked about Chowdhury’s allegation, Kabir said: “After we get the post-mortem report, it will be clear if it was a suicide or a murder. A probe has been ordered.”

The Murshidabad Congress today gheraoed Raninagar police station for at least five hours from 10am, demanding that the officer in charge be suspended and charged with murder. Officer in charge Karmakar declined comment.

According to Rajiv’s uncle Helal Mollah, also a Congress supporter, four plainclothesmen arrived on two motorcycles and took Rajiv from his home to the police station around 1pm yesterday.

“The police did not tell us why they were arresting Rajiv, nor did they show us any written document. At 9pm, someone from the police station called up to say Rajiv had committed suicide,” Helal said.

A police officer said Rajiv, father of two boys aged three and five, was wanted for allegedly kidnapping a youth in Beldanga three months ago.