A 17-year-old boy in Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur died on Sunday, four days after allegedly being assaulted by policemen over allegations of stealing his uncle’s cellphone.
Three policemen – a sub-inspector and two constables – have been suspended and an inquiry has been ordered into the incident that took place in Sampurana Nagar, around 230 km from Lucknow.
However, the Lakhimpur Police Chief has claimed the boy’s questioning happened in the presence of family members and he was let go after that. They said the family had first blamed his uncle for the assault but later changed their statement.
“The boy’s uncle had accused him of stealing his phone on the 17th of this month. On 19th, following a complaint, both sides, the family of the boy and the village head were called to the police station. They were questioned in front of everyone,” police chief Sanjeev Suman said.
“After that, they reached a settlement and the police have a written agreement that shows that. They went back around 3 pm from the police station. This morning, the boy’s mother came to the police station with 5-6 others and said her son was thrashed by the uncle and a few others on the night of 20th, he added.
“He was admitted to the hospital on the same night and he died this morning. That is when his relatives alleged that he died after being beaten up by the police. We will investigate the allegation. If policemen are found responsible, they will face action,” Mr Suman said.
Speaking to the media, the boy’s sister said, “The police sent my mother away when they called him for questioning and beat him mercilessly with belts. He told him how he fell to their feet and asked them to stop.”