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Cachar: Shopkeeper arrested for keeping shop open during curfew dies in police custody


Silchar, Jun 19: A shopkeeper arrested by police for keeping his shop open during curfew died in police custody in Assam's Cachar district following which 500 people came out in the streets alleging that he was tortured and demanded action against police personnel, officials said on Saturday.

The grocery shop owner of Koratigram area under Rongpur police station, was arrested along with a customer on Friday evening for keeping his shop open during curfew hours imposed due to COVID-19 restrictions, police said.

The 50-year-old shopkeeper, Babul Banik, complained of breathlessness in police custody and was rushed to Silchar Civil Hospital where doctors referred him to Silchar Medical College Hospital where he was declared dead.

Following his death more than 500 people came out in the area, defying curfew orders, and demanded that the police personnel who had allegedly tortured him in custody be arrested immediately.

Senior police officials, including Cachar Superintendent of Police V C Chandrakant rushed to the spot and assured the crowd that necessary action will be taken after the postmortem report is received.

If any police personnel is found to be guilty of torture, necessary action will be definitely taken, the SP added.

The deceased's wife claimed that he did not suffer from any ailment and had not opened the shop during curfew time but had gone to bring sugar for the family. The situation though tense in the area was under control, police added.

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