The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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'Custody death' rage on streets

Jamshedpur, Oct. 2: The death of a youth in hospital under police custody today triggered a pitched battle between police and people in the busy Mango locality here, injuring several.

Trouble started when news spread of 20-year-old welder Shamim Khan's death at MGM hospital around 3 pm. An angry crowd blocked the road near Mango police station, alleging that the police tortured the youth who later succumbed in hospital.

Officer-in-charge Umesh Singh claimed that the police had rushed Shamim to hospital after rescuing him from furious residents who had allegedly caught him stealing.

Unconvinced residents resorted to brickbatting and burning tyres and screamed 'khoon ka badla khoon se lenge (an eye for an eye)' outside the police station, forcing the ASP and two DSPs to stay put inside.

Riot-control vehicles, fire-tenders and reinforcements were rushed to Mango as many among hundreds of policemen took up position on rooftops of adjacent buildings.

They fired in the air to disperse the mob, which soon regrouped and resumed its assault. Several people were injured in the ensuing stampede.

Traffic in the busy locality came to a standstill as the clash blocked two of the busiest exits from the steel city.

Late in the evening, it was announced that deputy commissioner Sunil Kumar Burnwal had agreed to pay compensation of Rs 10,000 and allot a shop to Shamim's family after proper investigation.

He also reportedly said that two policemen accused in the incident by the people would be suspended.

The assurance, however, failed to pacify the mob that continued to scream for justice.

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