Posted On October 22, 2021

Agra: The family of Arun Valmiki, a Dalit sanitation worker who allegedly died in police custody, has accused cops of torturing him during interrogation by giving him electric shocks and tying his hands and feet. “He was beaten up mercilessly in front of his wife,” family members said on Thursday.

Dismissing statements from police that Valmiki died due to heart attack, his mother, 70-year-old Kamla Devi, said cops were “lying” about the circumstances leading to the death of her son. “He died at the police station and not after the raid at our house, as claimed by some senior cops,” she said. “Police raided our house on Monday, which was a day before Arun’s arrest. Their claim that they conducted the raid on Tuesday is false.”

Police had on Wednesday said that of the Rs 25 lakh allegedly stolen by Valmiki from the Jagdishpura thana’s malkhana, Rs 15 lakh was recovered from his house during the raid. Kamla Devi rubbished this, too. “Contrary to what the police are saying, no money was recovered from our house and everything was planned to frame my innocent son,” she said, adding that other members of her family were also picked up by police and questioned for hours. “My son was not suffering from any ailment, but died due to the brutality meted out to him,” she said, demanding justice for him and his three surviving children.

Senior superintendent of police Muniraj G reiterated that the cause of death was a heart attack. He cited an autopsy report. On being asked about injuries on Valmiki’s body, he said they could be old scars. “No serious injuries were found on vital parts of the body,” the SSP said. ADG Rajeev Krishna told TOI that all allegations of the family will be addressed during the investigation. He said that a probe by police officials from outside Agra has been ordered.

Valmiki’s wife Sonam said, “I was preparing for Karva Chauth, which is on October 24. Now what will I do? He used to bring home Rs 700 every month after cleaning the police station.”

Congress national general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who was stopped for a short while en route to Agra on Wednesday by the police, visited Valmiki’s family on Wednesday night and assured them all assistance. Priyanka claimed Valmiki’s s family members told her that 18 more people from the community were picked up by cops on Sunday and were beaten up at the police station.

“It’s unbelievable and surprising that such brutality has taken place in independent India. The law and order situation in Uttar Pradesh is out of control,” she said and added that the post-mortem report has not been given to the dead man’s family. “No family member was present during Arun’s autopsy,” she said. State vice president of the party Upendra Kumar said that Priyanka has assured Rs 30 lakh in financial assistance to the family

A case of murder has been registered against “unidentified police personnel”. Five cops, including the police chowki in-charge and an inspector of the crime branch, were suspended on Wednesday. Earlier, after the theft was first reported, six cops had been suspended for “negligence”.

Courtesy : TOI