Tuesday, November 13, 2007

LOCK-UP DEATH, PROBE BY ADC, SDM ORDERED

Two police personnel suspended

GANGTOK, November 12: Two police personnel from Singtam Police Station have been suspended following the death of Bikram Bishwakarma, 28 who was found hanging from a ventilator inside the lock-up at Singtam police station on November 10. A magisterial probe has also been ordered into the death.

Sub-inspector Tseten Bhutia was the officiating duty officer while Surendra Thapa was a non-commissioned officer on duty when the incident took place.

Bikram, was picked up in connection with a theft case on November 9 and was kept in police custody at the Singtam police station. He was reportedly caught red-handed by members of the taxi association in Singtam while stealing a stereo, sound boxes and some audio cassettes from a vehicle.
The youth had been beaten up before being handed over to the police. He was charged under Section 379 of the IPC for theft. A resident of Shantinagar in Singtam, Bikram was reported to be a drug addict.
On the same day at about 4pm, he was found hanging from a ventilator of the toilet which is attached to the lock-up. The youth had used the nylon from his underwear to hang himself from the iron bar of the ventilator.

However, after the incident, Bikram was rushed to the Singtam Hospital where he was declared brought dead on arrival. Later the next day, the body was sent for post-mortem at Singtam District Hospital to consider the possibility of foul play.

There are reports of marks borne on the body, police sources say.

In order to ascertain the actual death of Bikram, a magisterial probe has also been ordered since deaths in police custody warrant such a probe under Section 176 of the CrPC.

“As required under law, the Sikkim Police has called for East District Collector’s inquest and magisterial enquiry,” said Superintendent of Police, East MS Tuli.

The Additional District Collector East, Navin Chettri and Sub Divisional Magistrate Gangtok, AB Karki have been entrusted to probe into the incident and has been told to submit his report by November 14.
It is learnt that both the reports will be submitted to the State Home Department.