Madhya Pradesh government in a spot over judicial custody death of tribal man

By Express News Service

BHOPAL: With the recent death of a tribal man in judicial custody turning into a major political issue, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan went into damage-control mode by removing the superintendent of police of Khargone district on Sunday.

Confirming the development, Chouhan said, “a judicial probe has already been ordered and four cops have been suspended. Now, the SP of Khargone district Shailendra Singh Chauhan has been removed (from his post) for improper supervision in the entire matter.”

Sensing that the CM and the ruling BJP were on the back foot over the issue, the Congress reiterated its demand that the CBI probe the death of Bishan Bheel on the intervening night of September 7-8 and Rs 1 crore be given as compensation to his family, along with a job for one of his dependents and the lodging of murder case against the police personnel responsible for his death.

Just a day before, a Congress fact-finding mission, led by senior MLA and ex-minister Vijaylaxmi Sadho had gone to meet the kin of the deceased man. After the meeting, the team alleged that he died due to police torture.  Four days ago, 40-year-old Bishan Bhee was arrested in connection with an August 24 loot case. He died a few hours after being admitted to the Khargone Sub Jail.

Doctors at the Khargone district hospital claimed there were no signs of torture on Bishan’s body. They said the post mortem established that he died due to shock triggered by septicemia, caused by a previous ulcerative infection. However, the suspended superintendent of the sub jail claimed that before Bishan was moved to the jail on September 7, he already had torture wounds on his body, owing to which he was sent to the district hospital.

Enraged over the death, residents of Kharikundi village of Khargone district had attacked the Bistan police station on September 8. Later, acting in the matter, the government suspended four police personnel of the Bistan police station were suspended and a judicial probe was ordered.