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Police role under scanner: custodial deaths be probed by CBI: Bhagwant Mann

Chandigarh – Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Punjab, chief and Member of Parliament (MP) Bhagwant Mann has demanded a time-bound CBI probe into the unending spree of custodial deaths and suicides in the state.

In a statement issued from party headquarters in Chandigarh on Wednesday, Mann said that during the tenure of CM Capt Amarinder Singh more than one and a half dozen people had perished in various Punjab jails under police custody, a majority of them facing charges of drug peddling.

He further added that the latest example in  the series being mysterious death of ASI Avtar Singh, who shot self dead while in custody in Amritsar. Singh was arrested on the night of August 11, along with his colleague sub inspector Zorawar Singh on the charge of drug trafficking.

Mann said that almost identical data of custodial death being provided by Punjab Police and the government as well regarding  which, he said, was matter of grave concern.

The AAP leader said “This is not an ordinary phenomenon. These incidents could be defined as a thought-out design to ‘eliminate’ material evidence to offer protective cover to those behind the high-profile drug lords enjoying political patronage and, therefore, a time-bound probe by the CBI was of paramount importance since the role of state police force was under scanner” Mann said.

Elaborating on the issue, Mann further said that the recent death of Gurpinder Singh in police custody in Amritsar was startling revelation added to the series of recurring incidents. Singh, a salt traders, had been accused of smuggling heroin worth billions of rupees from across Pakistan. This spoke volumes of the well-organised drug trade across the country, Mann said

Mann lamented that after the death of Jaspal Singh of Faridkot under custody, the mysterious suicide committed by police inspector Narindra Singh, remained a mystery till date even as highest number of deaths under custody/ suicides under the custody of Ludhiana police had been reported during the past more than two years.

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