The death of a teenager at the hands of police in Uttar Pradesh state and reported by police has sparked outrage.
The death of a young Muslim man in police custody in northern Uttar Pradesh and the poor explanation of the police have caused a stir in India.
Police on Wednesday said Mohammad Altaf, 22, hanged himself when he went to the toilet of Kasganj police station in Uttar Pradesh – India’s most populous Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
An image of Altaf hanging in a water pipe in a laundry room spread on television.
A police bathroom was closed at UP’s Kasganj where 21-year-old Altaf allegedly hung himself from a tap using a connecting cable. pic.twitter.com/tLYWC9zYhX
– Piyush Rai (@Benarasiyaa) November 10, 2021
Altaf, a resident of Ahroli village in Kasganj, was arrested by police on Tuesday morning in connection with the abduction of a young Hindu girl.
Police said they asked him to go to the laundry where he was interrogated, where he hung himself using the cord of his jacket tied to a water tap.
“By researching, he [Altaf] asked the police if they should use the toilet. He was taken to a closed laundry, where he hung himself from a tap with the strap of his jacket, “said Rohan Pramod Botre, Kasganj police chief.
The Times of India on Thursday reported that Altaf was about 5ft 6 inches (167cm) tall and that the water pipe was less than 91.4 meters high.
Five police officers have been suspended for neglecting the case and police are investigating the case.
But the Altaf family has asked for an investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
“I am an uneducated person. I do not know anything about what happened to my son in the custody of the police, “Altaf’s father Chand Miyan told Al Jazeera.
On Wednesday, Miyan told reporters that she had handed her son over to the police only to find out about her son’s death through the media.
This is Altaf. She was only 21 years old.
He was detained and within 24 hours was found dead. Police say he committed suicide – which may have been under way.
Khaled Beydoun (@KhaledBeydoun) November 10, 2021
Activists and opposition parties have questioned police doctrine leading to Altaf’s death.
“This is a trivial death. And the death of a relative should be treated as a trivial matter. The responsibility should be to the police to ensure that it was not a murder but a suicide,” Kavita Krishnan, a member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist), told Al Jazeera.
Krishnan said stopping police in the area was not enough and he had to take action against police officers in Kasganj.
“Uttar Pradesh police are known to stop people and then pick them up and send them to other areas, so it doesn’t matter. Stopping local police is not enough.
Uttar Pradesh’s main opposition party, the Samajwadi party, has attacked the BJP government over other “evil” police “happy police”.
“The offending police officers should be charged with murder and should be punished,” the party said in a statement.
Many people on Indian television have used hashtags like #UP_police_murdered_Altaf and #WeDemandJusticeForAltaf to vent their anger at the event.
Earlier this year, the Indian Interior Ministry reported in India’s parliament that 348 people had died in police custody and 5,221 had died in prisons over the past three years.
In Uttar Pradesh, 23 people have died at the hands of police and 1,295 are currently in prison.