The death in a Ranchi hospital of Minhaj Ansari, 22, of Jharkhand's Jamtara district, who was in police custody, is the second custodial death taking place within three months in the state.
Ansari was arrested on October 3 on the charge of spreading 'objectionable messages' over beef on WhatsApp.
His family claimed they were informed that two days after his arrest, he was admitted to a hospital. He was later shifted to Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), Ranchi, where he died on October 9.
The news of Ansari's death remained suppressed for some days on account of the Durga Puja festivities. But, as the issue surfaced, Officer-in-Charge of Narayanpura Police Station Harish Pathak was suspended, a case filed against him and the family was handed a compensation of Rs 2 lakh.
Ansari's is allegedly the second case of custodial death in Jharkhand in less than three months.
In the first week on July this year, tribal youth Rupesh Swansy was arrested on charge of alleged link with Maoist guerrillas. He also died undergoing treatment at RIMS, Ranchi. Third-degree torture is said to be the reason for his death.
Ranchi police suspended Ashok Prasad and Pankaj Kumar, the Officers-in-Charge of Rahe and Dasham police stations, respectively, as Rupesh's family alleged police atrocities. Taking suo motu notice of the case, the Jharkhand High Court directed the state government to hand over a Rs 1-lakh compensation to his kin.
Other than these two instances of police atrocities, in which the victims died, there are more cases that go on to prove the inhuman treatment being meted out to those in custody.
On June 14, a minor girl of Latehar district was given third-degree torture, which left a deep impact on her mind. She was admitted to a Ranchi hospital for treatment, where she remained unconscious for over 72 hours.
The same day, a truck driver Nazim was allegedly shot at by policemen in Dhanbad. The injured driver was taken to West Bengal in a critical condition, where he underwent treatment.
What is more, such incidents are taking place despite the fact that state DGP D.K. Pandey has issued strict instructions to the department to follow the police manual.
Meanwhile, Jharkhand opposition parties blame Chief Minister Raghubar Das for the insensitive face of the state police.
"The Chief Minister is using police for political reasons. The Rajya Sabha poll is one such example where a senior IPS officer was influencing the legislators. The common people are harassed in the name of policing, while crime is rising in the state," Kishore Sahdeo, General Secretary of the Jharkhand unit of the Congress, told IANS.