Madhya Pradesh: Undertrial tribal man dies in judicial custody, villagers attack police station

By Express News Service

BHOPAL: Enraged over the death of a loot-accused tribal man in judicial custody, residents of a tribal dominated village went on the rampage, pelting stones and damaging property at Bistan police station in Khargone district of Madhya Pradesh on Tuesday.

Bisan Bheel, 35, a native of Kherkundi village died on Monday allegedly due to wounds suffered in torture during police custody at Bistan police station, prior to being sent to jail,  

A mob of residents, numbering around 50-60 people, mostly from Kherkundi village attacked the station. The angry mob pelted stones and damaged property inside the police station premises for around half an hour, before additional police force was rushed to the spot to disperse the mob by firing tear gas shells and firing in air.

Three to five police personnel reportedly sustained injuries in the violence at the police station.

According to Khargone district police sources, 12 men were arrested (eight on September 3 and four on Monday) in connection with an August 24 loot case, Bisan was among the four men arrested on Monday.

Before he was sent to Khargone jail, his medical examination was conducted, but no health problems were reported. After being admitted in the jail, he complained of uneasiness and difficulty in breathing at around 00.30 am on Tuesday, after which he was rushed to the Khargone district hospital, where he was declared brought dead  by doctors. 

“Three vehicles boarded by villagers were on their way to Khargone district hospital on Tuesday, to get the body of the deceased tribal, but suddenly one of the vehicles diverted to the Bistan police station. Those onboard the vehicle later attacked the cops at the police station,” a senior police official in Khargone district said. 

Meanwhile, in the wake of the attack on the police station by the tribals, who alleged that Bisan died due to police torture by Bistan police station cops, a magisterial probe was ordered by the state government in the tribal’s death. And four cops of Bistan police station, including a sub inspector, a head constable and two constables were suspended in the matter.

The autopsy of the body was performed by a panel of doctors under camera, but the report is yet to be submitted.

A sum of Rs 5,000 was released for the tribal’s last rites, Rs 25,000 sanctioned by the Red Cross, while Rs 2 lakh was sanctioned under the Sambal Yojana immediately.

Meanwhile, the ex-CM and state Congress president Kamal Nath, who had launched the Adivasi Adhikar Yatra on Monday, constituted a five MLAs strong team headed by ex-minister Vijaylaxmi Sadho to probe the entire incident of the alleged custodial death of the tribal.