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The Maharashtra government today announced an ex-gratia of Rs 10 lakh to kin of a robbery accused, who allegedly died in police custody in Sangli district. The victim, Aniket Kothale, was arrested by the Sangli city police on November 6 along with another man in a robbery case. "I met the Kothale family and tried to understand their feelings. I have discussed the issue with the chief minister and he has agreed to provide a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the kin of the victim," Maharashtra Minister of State for Home (Rural), Deepak Kesarkar said. Kesarkar said the government was considering to appoint senior advocate Ujjwal Nikam as the public prosecutor in the case. Seven police personnel were suspended in connection with the case.
The police had allegedly tried to burn his body twice to destroy evidence. Six persons, including five personnel of the Sangli city police station, were arrested in this regard. "As per the demand of the family, the government is considering to appoint Ujjwal Nikam as the public prosecutor in the case," Kesarkar told reporters here. The minister said the CID has started investigation and that if the agency failed to make a headway, the government would consider recommending a CBI probe into the incident. "For now, the CID is doing good work. Its preliminary investigation has been completed within 24 hours," he said. Kothale and another accused were allegedly taken from the lock-up to a detection branch room, where one of them was hung upside down from a ceiling fan with his head in a bucket of water. The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued a notice to the Maharashtra DGP, seeking a detailed report within four weeks in connection with the custodial death. Kesarkar also said that a meeting of senior officials of the home department has been called to ensure certain guidelines were made and implemented to prevent such incidents. He added that police officers will be sensitised so that people can consider them their friends.
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