Bengal rights panel orders probe in custody death

Last Updated: Mon, Jan 21, 2013 16:30 hrs

Kolkata, Jan 21 (IANS) West Bengal's human rights panel Monday expressed "grave concern" over the alleged custodial death in Hooghly district and asked the state police chief to conduct an inquiry into the incident.

"The commission has directed the DGP (director general of police) to conduct an inquiry by an officer not below the rank of inspector general of police and submit its report within three weeks," said West Bengal Human Rights Commission (WBHRC) joint secretary Sujay Kumar Halder.

Kazi Naseeruddin, a local Trinamool Congress leader, died allegedly in the custody of Dhaniakhali police station in the district Jan 19, after he was arrested the previous night.

Following the alleged custodial death, local residents attacked the police station and police baton-charged the crowds to disperse them.

While a first information report has been registered in the case, the Congress and the Trinamool Congress traded charges over the alleged custodial death and the violence that ensued.

Local Trinamool legislator Asima Patra accused Congress leader Abdul Mannan of instigating violence.

Mannan, however, refuted the charges and claimed that the death was a "pre-planned murder" as the victim was on the verge of quitting the Trinamool Congress.

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