Teen commits suicide after ‘police torture’, protests in Amritsar

India on 01 September 2014
Location : India | Source : Indian Express.

The suicide of a 17-year-old boy after he was allegedly tortured by police sparked a protest here on Sunday.

The family of Harjit Singh — who was taken to the police station in connection with a theft complaint — demanded action against the policemen who allegedly tortured Harjit and his friend Davinder Singh at Daburji police station by keeping them in “illegal custody” at the behest of an “influential person”. The relatives and a large number of locals demonstrated with the body on the Amritsar-Jalandhar road near New Amritsar.

The protests were on till the filing of this report.

While Harjit, a resident of a locality near New Amritsar, allegedly hanged himself on Saturday evening, Davinder was reported missing by his family.

Tarn Taran police shrugged off responsibility. “Since the suicide took place in Amritsar, it is for the Amritsar police to comment on the case,” said Tarn Taran SSP Manmohan Kumar. Asked about allegations of torture in the jurisdiction of Tarn Taran police, the SSP said, “The duo were called for questioning by police and let off. The dispute involved theft of valuable worth Rs 400-500. It was decided that both parties would sort it out mutually.”

Asked why an FIR was not lodged for the theft complaint, the SSP said, “The complainant decided against lodging a formal complaint.”

When contacted, Amritsar Commissioner of Police Jatinder Singh Aulakh told The Indian Express, “There are allegations of torture against police. The question is: who is answerable for torture. It is for the Tarn Taran police to answer that. The suicide took place in our area and hence we have done the inquest proceedings.”

According to his brother Malkit Singh, Harjit assisted their father who worked as a mason. “Wednesday, he went with Davinder, who drove a small transportation vehicle. He was to supply pipes to a party and accidentally loaded four pipes from the godown of an influential person, who handed them over to police who beat them up at the behest of that man and let them off. They were again beaten up Thursday and escaped from the police station Friday,” Malkit said.

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