A day after the death of a 47-year-old constable in New Delhi during the anti-rape protest, a controversy erupted over the cause of his demise.
Earlier, police claimed that Subhash Chand Tomar suffered injuries during Sunday's anti-rape protest near India Gate when demonstrators pelted stones at him and allegedly beat him. Following the attack he was taken to a city hospital where he was kept on ventilator for two days. Tomar succumbed to injuries on Tuesday morning, Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar said.
"With deep regret, we have to inform you constable Subhash Chand Tomar succumbed to his injuries at 6:40 a.m. today," said Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar, PTI reported.
Contradicting the police report of Tomar's death, doctor at Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, where the constable was admitted, said his body bore no external injury marks and that he died of a cardiac arrest.
"He died of cardio-pulmonary arrest at 6: 40 am on Tuesday. He was brought to the hospital in a state of cardiac arrest and was given CPR. Our bed-side investigations found no gross internal injuries or bleeding and externally also only few bruises on the chest", Dr TS Sidhu, medical superintendent, Ram Manohar Lohia hospital, told PTI on Wednesday.
An eyewitness, identified as Yogendra, said that the constable simply collapsed while walking.
"I was surprised to hear that 8 were arrested over Subhash Tomar's death. I saw him in hospital and his body didn't have any injuries. He wasn't trampled by a mob, he wasn't assaulted. He just collapsed while walking. I don't think people should be arrested over this," Yogendra told IBN Live.
Soon after Tomar's death, Delhi police arrested eight people suspected of allegedly beating Tomar to death. The eight people named in the FIR are Shankar Bisht, Nand, Shantanu, Kailash Joshi, Amit Joshi, Abhishek, Nafees Ahmad and Chaman, a member of AAP, the police said, according to IBN Live.
Delhi police have slapped murder charges against the eight people and claimed that they have video footage of the entire incident. The accused are booked under sections 302 (murder), 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions) and 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) of IPC. They were released on bail on Tuesday.
Aam Aadmi Party national convener Arvind Kejriwal said that the police are framing innocent people and don't have such evidence in their possession.
"If any of those eight including AAP worker Chaman are responsible for the death of constable, we want them to punish. But if police are framing them, they have no evidence against these eight youths, we'll stand by them," said Kejriwal.
Police have transferred the case to the Crime Branch for further investigation. "The case has been transferred to the Crime Branch," Delhi Police spokesperson Rajan Bhagat said without providing any reason for the transfer.