A 47-year-old RTI activist, who was arrested along with two members of his family, died in police custody in Balotra city of Rajasthan's Barmer on Sunday, October 6. An FIR has been registered against eight personnel from the Pachpadra police station in connection with the case.
The Station House Officer (SHO) has been suspended by the state government. All officials of the station were transferred to the district police lines.
According to the Barmer Superintendent of Police, Sharad Chaudhary, the death will be investigated by a judicial magistrate.
The deceased, Jagdish Goliyan, was arrested along with two of his cousins on Saturday following an argument over a land dispute.
"He and his two cousins were picked up and were to be presented before the executive magistrate at the tehsil office on Sunday. While the other two were presented (at the tehsil office) and got bail, his condition worsened and he subsequently passed away," Chaudhary was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.
The local police have claimed that Goliyan suffered from an illness but the cause of his death has not been ascertained yet. According to the SP, a medical board will conduct his autopsy on Monday, under the supervision of a judicial magistrate.
The Balotra Deputy Superintendent of Police, Subhash Chandra, said that the RTI activist is suspected to have died after suffering internal injuries during a fight with his relatives, reported PTI. Chandra added that he passed away while undergoing treatment at the Balotra hospital.
However, Goliyan's mother has accused the police for her son's death. She wrote in her complaint that the RTI activist was receiving death threats from one Gopal, Om and others. Several people, including Gopal and Om, had on Saturday assaulted Goliyan at his farm.
"Sometime after the assault, Pachpadra SHO Saroj Choudhary reached the spot and took Jagdish to the police station, but did not get him treated for internal and external injuries, which led to the death of my son," she alleged.
Goliyan was a typist at the district collectorate and used to file RTIs.