MP: Suspect dies by gunshot in police custody; district police chief transferred

Judicial probe ordered; Rs 10 lakh assistance announced for bereaved family


A theft suspect was killed by a gunshot, fired from the service revolver of the in-charge of Sinhpur police station in Satna district of Madhya Pradesh late on Sunday night. The family members of the deceased and villagers laid siege to the police station, demanding action against those involved in the death and body of the deceased, on Monday morning.

Stones were also hurled by the people gathered in front of the police station, forcing the police to resort to cane-charge to disperse the mob.

As the incident of custodial death caused furore across the state and former chief minister Kamal Nath attacked the state government, demanding high level probe and strict action, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan ordered transfer of Satna Superintendent of Police (SP) Riyaz Iqbal, sources said.

Besides, a judicial probe was initiated into the incident and a financial assistance of Rs 10 lakh was announced for the family of the deceased by the state government.

Earlier, the Satna SP had suspended the Sinhpur police station in-charge sub-inspector Vikram Pathak and head constable Ashish Mishra, holding them prima facie guilty.

Before his own transfer, Iqbal told the media that the theft suspect Rajpati Kushwaha had died of a gunshot fired from the service revolver of the police station in-charge, apparently after the suspect tried to snatch the gun kept on the table of the cop.

The suspect was picked up on Sunday night in a two-month old theft case in the vicinity of the home of a former sarpanch. A rifle and gold and silver ornaments had reportedly been stolen during the incident.

Kushwaha, who had been critically injured by the gunshot, was first taken to a local hospital by the police but later shifted to the neighbouring Rewa. However, Kushwaha succumbed to the injury.

The kin of the deceased, however, alleged that the cops were drunk and had shot Kushwaha dead. Iqbal told the media that a judicial probe had started on his request and a medical examination of the cops was also undertaken.

As the news spread, a big crowd laid siege to the Sinhpur police station, about 45km from the Satna district headquarters. Additional force was rushed to the police station as the crowd became restive and stones were hurled at the station. Police then used tear gas and cane-charge to control the crowd.

The transferred SP told the media that the body will be handed over to the family after postmortem.

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