9 Cops Charged With Kanpur Jeweller’s Murder; BJP MP Seeks Action Over “Cover-Up Bid”

9 Cops Charged With Kanpur Jeweller's Murder; BJP MP Seeks Action Over "Cover-Up Bid"

Family protests, ruling party MP comes in support after police claim man died of heart attack, even though body has severe injury marks

Kanpur: 

A businessman's death allegedly after assault in police custody in UP's Kanpur district has led to protests and the local MP, who belongs to the ruling BJP, has backed demands for action against top officers. So far, nine local policemen have been charged with murder and suspended from service.

The businessman, a jeweller named Balwant Singh, was taken to the police station at Rania on December 12 over allegations of theft levelled by another jeweller.

His family said that when they went to meet him in the police station, they saw him being tortured by police. They were allegedly not allowed to meet him and he died around 11 pm. 

The Superintendent of Police (SP) for Kanpur Rural, Suniti, announced to the media that an autopsy found Balwant Singh having died “because of heart attack”.

But there were clear injury marks on the body — particularly on the knees and lower back — that pointed towards severe assault.  

When the family members saw the scars on the body handed over to them today, they protested — as did a large number of people in the town — and they refused to cremate the body until stricter action was taken. The case against nine cops was registered eventually.

At the intervention of the BJP MP, Devendra Singh Bhole, another autopsy is now being conducted by a panel of doctors. The report is awaited.

Accusing the district's civic administration and police's top officers of trying to “hide the facts”, he said, “There were 22 severe injury marks on Balwant Singh's body.” He said the man had been taken into custody in a false case motivated by "village-level political rivalry".

“I have informed (Chief Minister) Yogi Adityanath about the entire case,” he told NDTV over the phone. “I agree the police have done excesses, and they will be punished for it too. IPC Section 302 (for murder) has been invoked.”

He spoke of relief provided to the family. “We have compensated the family with ₹ 4 lakh; some land for the wife and mother of the victim; free education for the children, and a house under the PM Awas Yojana, besides pension for the mother.”