A 22-year-old man called for questioning in a kidnapping case died at Kasganj police station in Uttar Pradesh, with his family members alleging that he was killed by the police personnel.
The police, however, claimed that Altaf had strangled himself using a string of his jacket's hood in the washroom of the police lock-up and said five policemen have been suspended for negligence in the wake of the incident on Tuesday.
The Opposition Samajwadi Party attacked the Yogi Adityanath government for 'yet another custodial death,' saying that criminals and police are committing an 'encounter' of law and order in the state under the Bharatiya Janata Party rule.
SP president Akhilesh Yadav termed the death as suspicious and demanded a judicial probe into the matter.
Narrating the sequence of events, superintendent of police, Kasganj, Rohan Pramod Botre said on Wednesday, "One Altaf (of Nagla Syed locality) was called for questioning in Kasganj police station in a case related to IPC Section 363 (kidnapping) and 366 (kidnapping, abducting or inducing a woman to compel her marriage) on Tuesday morning.
"During interrogation, he requested the policemen to go to the washroom and was allowed to use the washroom inside the lockup.
"He was wearing a black colour jacket. He tried to strangulate himself with a string on the (jacket) hood that he tied to the tap of the toilet. When he did not return for some time, the policemen went inside and found him unconscious. He was rushed to the community health centre, Ashok Nagar in Kasganj, where he died," the SP said.
The victim's postmortem is being conducted, he said.
"The lax policemen will be punished. We have suspended five policemen in this connection," he said.
The victim's kin, however, alleged that he was killed by the policemen.
The SP chief said in a tweet in Hindi, "The death of the youth called for interrogation in the police station is very suspicious. In the name of laxity, suspension of some policemen is a mere eyewash. In this case, a judicial probe should be held to generate confidence on police in the Bharatiya Janata Party regime."
He ended his tweet with the hashtag #BJPKHATAM (BJP is finished)
Yadav also tagged a portion of a news report which says "bad script is written in UP. A man with 5.6 feet height hanged himself with a tap which is above two feet from the ground."
Earlier, the SP took to Twitter to attack the Yogi Adityanath government, calling the incident another misdeed of UP's 'thoko (trigger-happy) police.'
"In UP, under the patronage of the chief minister, criminals and police are committing an encounter of law and order. The guilty policemen should face a murder case and must be punished," the SP said in a tweet in Hindi.
The incident comes close on the heels of a sanitation worker, who was accused of stealing Rs 25 lakh from Jagdishpura police station in Agra, dying in police custody after his health deteriorated during interrogation.