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Custodial death in MP: Kin couldn’t arrange 20k for cops, reveals audio

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Special Correspondent

Bhopal: A day after a man was found dead in suspicious circumstances in police lockup in Seoni Malwa of Hoshangabad district, it has come to light that local cops were pressuring the kin of the deceased to arrange Rs 20,000 to secure his release.

An audio tape of a purported telephonic conversation between deceased Jaiprakash Lovanshi and his son Pintu in which a police constable barges in to pressure Pintu to arrange the money, has become public on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the MP Human Rights Commission has served notices upon the superintendent of police (SP) and inspector general (IG) of Hoshangabad, seeking report on the death within three days. The commission has also sought postmortem report of the deceased.

Lovanshi (48) was found dead in police lockup, hanging to the window grill by a scraf early on Friday morning. He has been picked up on Thursday night by police on the suspicion of being an accomplice in a theft.

Kin have alleged that Lovanshi was beaten up mercilessly in the lock-up. They have also taken exception to the death being portrayed as a suicide. His son has said that his father’s feet were touching ground well and in such situation suicide was not possible.

Tension prevailed in Seoni Malwa over the incident on Saturday too with the kin refusing to cremate the dead unless strict action was taken against policemen and government job was provided to a dependant.  

The district administration and police later managed to placate them with promises.

Also disciplinary action was initiated against the police station in-charge RS Chauhan, head constable Arvind Mishra (accused of torturing Lovanshi and also pressuring for money over telephone), another sub-inspector and a constable.

SP Ashutosh Pratap Singh has told media that a judicial inquiry is being conducted into the incident.