KANPUR: Special Operations Group in-charge Prashant Gautam, one of the seven accused, was arrested on Thursday for murder in connection with the custodial death of a 27-year-old trader in Kanpur Dehat district.
Seven persons, including six policemen and a duty doctor of Kanpur Dehat district hospital, were booked on Wednesday in connection with the death of the trader Balwant Singh in police custody in the district late Monday night.
On the complaint of Angad Singh, uncle of Balwant Singh, an FIR has been registered under relevant IPC sections, including 302 (murder), 147 (guilty of rioting) 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) and 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) at the Rania police station against Shivli police station in-charge Rajesh Kumar Singh, Rania police station in-charge Shiv Prakash Singh, Maitha outpost in-charge Gyan Prakash Pandey, SOG in-charge Prashant Gautam, a constable deputed with the SWAT Mahesh Gupta and one unknown member of the SOG team, along with the duty doctor of the district hospital.
Balwant Singh, who died in police custody after he was detained in an alleged loot case reported from the district on December 6, was assaulted and had more than two dozen wounds on his body, according to the autopsy report. As per the doctors who performed the autopsy, he died due to severe assault.
Superintendent of police Kanpur Dehat Suniti, said, “On Thursday, the police arrested SOG in-charge Prashant Gautam, one of the seven accused, while searches are underway to arrest the remaining accused who are absconding. Six teams have been formed to arrest them. They are facing murder charge.”
Meanwhile, another person, Ram Rathore of Mahipalpur, who was allegedly picked up by the Kanpur Dehat police in connection with the robbery and in which Balwant Singh died in police custody, was admitted to Havaspur Community Health Center late Wednesday evening. However, the police are yet to come on record in this regard.
Dr. Vaibhav Katiyar of CHC said that home guard Akhilesh Singh has admitted Ram Rathore., who is suffering from high fever along with other complications.
Ram Rathore told reporters that the police had detained him along with Balwant Singh in connection with the loot case. He alleged that Balwant Singh was severely beaten up by the police inside the police station. After Balwant Singh’s death, the police removed him from Rania police station and sent him to Mangalpur police station.
Police and SOG had picked up several people on the basis of suspicion in the case of robbery from businessman Chandrabhan Singh, a resident of Lalpur Saraiya village of Shivli on December 6. Ram Rathore, a resident of Mahipalpur under Shivrajpur police station area of Kanpur city was one among the suspects.
After the death of Balwant Singh, his family members had apprised state minister Pratibha Shukla, who reached the post-mortem house to console the family members who told her that four people were still in police custody. The minister had talked to the SP over the phone and asked to share the photos and videos of those who have been caught.
In response, the SP had said that all the people caught were safe. After this, the police had produced Avinash Kushwaha, Suraj and Kallu in the court in the case and sent them to jail.
Balwant’s uncle Chandra Bhan Singh, a trader and with whom loot was committed on December 6, said that had he known that the police would kill his nephew, he would never have lodged an FIR.
He said that when he came to know that Balwant was in police custody, he went to the police station several times and asked the police to release him, as he had nothing to do with the loot incident. “In fact, we were being sent from one police station to another. Finally, when my nephew died, we came to know that his body was lying in the district hospital,” he said.

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