In a turn of events, the father of the 22-year-old man, who died in police custody in Kasganj, has now denied having given a clean chit to the police.The father Chand Miyan had given a letter absolving the police of all blame for his son's death.
The note, written in Hindi, said Altaf was depressed and had ended his life by suicide. Chand Miyan told reporters on Thursday evening that he was threatened by officials that his son's body will not be handed over to him if he spoke against the police.
"I did what I was told to do by the police," he said. He said he was illiterate and could not read what was written before placing his thumbprint on the letter.
"I was neither in good health nor in a proper frame of mind when I gave the statement and placed my thumb impression without knowing the content on the paper. Being in an unstable condition, I did what I was asked by the police to do," he said.
The Kasganj police have refused to comment on Chand Miyan retracting his statement. "Please ask the father of the deceased as to why he is changing his stand from one statement to another. What can police say about this?" said ASP Kasganj, A.K. Singh.
It may be recalled that 22-year-old Altaf was called for interrogation at the Kasganj police station in an abduction case and he died on Tuesday evening. The police claimed that Altaf, who was accused of eloping with a minor Hindu girl, had strangulated himself using a string from his jacket hood in the washroom of the police lock-up.
"During interrogation, the accused went to the washroom at the police station, where he hanged himself to death from the tap," said A.K. Singh, additional superintendent of police (ASP).
Meanwhile, Altaf's family has now appealed for a CBI inquiry into the case. "How can a man commit suicide by hanging himself from a 3-feet-high tap. We do not trust the post-mortem report, which cites 'hanging' as the cause of death," said Fatima, mother of the deceased.