UP: Muslim Man Died due to 'Custodial Torture', Received Battered Body, Alleges Family
Lucknow: On July 2, Sajid Abbasi's family was awaiting his return; instead of his cheerful face, they received his dead remains. On the morning of July 2, when Abbasi left home in the Noorbagh area of Baghpat, he told his family that he was off to relish his favourite fruit - mango, with few friends.
"We were waiting for our son; we were not expecting to receive his mangled dead body," Abbasi's mother told NewsClick. The family has maintained that Abbasi was brutally beaten to the extent that he died in police custody. "He has been accused of gambling, but which law kills people for gambling? My son was not a gambler," his mother alleged.
In 2022, Uttar Pradesh topped the charts across the country in cases of custodial murders. As per GoI data, Uttar Pradesh recorded 451 custodial deaths in 2020-21, the number accelerated to 501 in 2021-22.
A painter who earned Rs 200-300/day, Abbasi returned home as a canvas of blood. In excruciating anger and pain, his family members and villagers held a protest outside the Rataul outpost and demanded strict action against the police officers allegedly involved in torturing Abbasi to death in the guise of questioning him.
The incident occurred on Sunday when Abbasi was picked up by police from the Noorbagh area and taken to the Ratauli police outpost under the Khedha police station, his father told NewsClick.
While protesting with the family, his brother revealed that Abbasi was only watching people playing cards under the orchard. He was picked up by the police, beaten badly, and left to die. The father of three, Abbasi, died on his way to the hospital.
However, police denied the allegation of assault levelled by the family members of the man, saying the matter is being probed.
Circle Officer Prita Singh, who is investigating the case speaking to NewsClick, said, "A group of police were patrolling at around 11 am in the Rataul area. Some people in an orchard were playing cards and involved in gambling. They started running away soon after seeing the police. The police chased them and caught a man. He was brought to the police station, and after interrogation, he was released. He was not beaten, and there was no mark on his body either."
Meanwhile, a cop was shunted to police lines after a 26-year-old man was allegedly assaulted in police custody, leading to his death.
The Samajwadi Party hit out at BJP over law and order, criticising the Bagpat custodial death case. The party questioned the working style of the police.
"Death in police custody is equal to murder. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath always boasts law and order in the state, but the irony is that people are not in police custody which is not a matter of pride but instead shame," Rajeev Rai, the SP spokesperson, told NewsClick.
In a similar case, the suspicious death of a youth, allegedly in police custody, led to tension in Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh last month, with hundreds of local residents and relatives of the deceased staged a sit-in protest outside the Vijayanagar police station, demanding registration of a case against the police officials concerned.
Dilshad Khan, the victim, was a resident of Makanpur village under Indirapuram police station area. He was involved in dry cleaning and washing police personnel's clothes. The incident happened in Vijayanagar police station after he received a call from a police sub-inspector asking him to deliver laundered uniforms.
Khan's family members, however, claimed he was beaten "mercilessly" inside the police station, leading to his death.
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