A 19-year-old man, who was illegally detained at a police station in Uttar Pradesh's Rae Bareli district, died in police custody. 

According to the police, the man - accused of stealing a bike- had symptoms like pneumonia, breathlessness, normally linked with coronavirus. After the allegations by the family that the man was tortured, the Police station incharge was suspended. 

UP Rae Bareli
Family of the 19-year-old man protest after he dies in police custody, UP Rae Bareli.

The incident

On Friday, Monu was arrested in Rae Bareli's Lalganj over suspected links to a gang allegedly involved in motorcycle theft. Earlier, four other men were held in the bike theft case. 

Monu's, the 19-year-old man's family alleged that he was tortured in the police custody. His family and locals led a protest outside the police station after news of his death broke after all the five men were detained for 24 hours. 

Monu's brother Sonu said, "They (policemen) picked up me and my brother. They kept on asking him where are the keys. The thrashed Mohit (Monu) very badly in the police station," 

The police denied that Monu was tortured claiming that he died at the district hospital while he was still in their custody. He also allegedly had COVID-like symptoms, according to the police. 

Police officials admit to illegally detention

Swapnil Mamgain, Rae Bareli's police chief said to NDTV, "On Saturday evening, Monu complained of stomach ache and he was taken to a nearby doctor and he was given medicine. Today morning (Sunday), he fell ill again and was rushed to the district hospital in Rae Bareli where doctors said his first symptoms of pneumonia and depleting oxygen levels - he had no physical injuries. He died at around 11 AM. We are getting a video-recorded post-mortem done and the family had given a complaint against two policemen and we are getting the cops investigated." 

"Prima facie we have found that the accused were kept in illegal detention in the police station for over 24 hours and we have suspended the police station in-charge because they should not have detained the accused illegally for over two days," Mr Mamgain said.