A man arrested on charges of harassing a woman in Panikhaiti (on the outskirts of Guwahati) escaped from police custody on Wednesday and “committed suicide”. Tension prevails in the area following the incident.
A Times of India report stated that the deceased, identified as Chandan Bharali (23), was arrested on Monday. Bharali had allegedly posted some obscene photographs of the complainant on the social media to blackmail her. Police had taken him into custody for three days for questioning. A probe was ordered to find out if there were lapses on the part of police and four policemen including the Officer In-Charge (OC) of Panikhaiti outpost has been suspended in this connection.
The report further stated that there was only one constable on duty when Bharali ran away from the police outpost. Earlier, Ranjan Bhuyan, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) (Central), said, “As the Panikhaiti outpost doesn’t have lock-up facility, Bharali was slated to be kept at Chandrapur Police Station. But at 11.30 pm on Tuesday night, he was found missing from the outpost and a search operation was launched immediately. A few hours later, he was found hanging from a tree nearby.”
He had also stated that an “inquiry has been ordered by the Commissioner to find out possible lapses on the part of police and to fix accountability. Departmental action will be taken if anyone is found responsible for the incident.” Earlier, the Kamrup (Metro) district administration asked Chandrapur Circle Officer Pallab Jyoti Nath to conduct an inquiry into the incident and submit a report on his findings within 15 days.
Smelling a rat into the whole incident, Bharali’s family questioned how an arrested person could escape from police custody and then commit suicide. The family has decided to move the Human Rights Commission.