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Twin probe on into Tripura youth’s death in police custody

Agartala, Jan 13 (IANS) | Publish Date: 1/13/2020 11:20:55 AM IST

The Tripura government has ordered a twin probe, including a magisterial inquiry, into the death of a 38-year-old youth in police custody, a senior police officer said on Monday, even as the opposition parties have demanded a judicial probe and intervention of the Human Rights Commission in the matter.

Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb ordered a magisterial inquiry on Sunday to probe the death of Sushanta Ghosh, 38, while the police on Monday appointed a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) to investigate the matter.

The youth was arrested on Friday from his house in Lankamura on the outskirts of the state capital in connection with cash theft from city ATMs using cloning devices.

“We are yet to get the post-mortem report of the death from the three-member medical board. We have sufficient proof and evidence that Sushanta Ghosh committed suicide at the West Agartala police station on intervening night between Saturday-Sunday,” a police officer said on condition of anonymity.

The officer said that the slain youth was involved in stealing huge sums of cash from ATMs using cloning devices alongwith two Turkish and two Bangladeshi nationals, who were arrested at Belgharia (under North 24 Parganas district) in West Bengal in November and are now being interrogated by the intelligence and cyber crime branch officials in Agartala.

After visiting Ghosh’s family here former Tripura Chief Minister and Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) politburo member Manik Sarkar said on MOnday that an impartial probe must be conducted, while the officers of the West Agartala Police Station should be removed immediately.

Reacting to the incident, local traders are observing a strike and have shut their shops and markets in the area as the Sushanta Ghosh’s father Parimal Ghosh is a sweet trader.

Meanwhile, the Tripura government on Monday transferred 32 senior police officers, including the Superintendent of Police (Cyber Crime) Sharmistha Chakraborty, who was probing the ATM robberies.

Senior lawyer, and Tripura Human Rights Organisation Secretary Purusattam Roybarman has demanded a judicial probe by a sitting High Court judge.

While the CPI-M has urged the Tripura Human Rights Commission to inquire into the incident, the Congress has demanded a judicial probe.

Sushanta’s father Parimal Ghosh in an FIR claimed his son died following police torture.

“My son was arrested as the Turkish and Bangladeshi ATM hackers had earlier bought sweets from my shop. My son had helped them exchange dollars into rupees without knowing their (Bangladeshis) criminality,” Ghosh said, and claimed that some injury marks have been found on his son’s body.

As per the preliminary probe, the Turkish nationals along with their Bangladeshi collaborators had stolen Rs 50 lakh during October-November last year from around 80 customers of different banks, mostly from State Bank of India accounts in Guwahati using ATM cloning devices.

It is being speculated here that the same group could be involved in the theft at Agartala.

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