Mistaken Identity Slur Adds Twist To Bhubaneswar ‘Custody Death’ Case As Wives Fight Over Body

Bhubaneswar: Confusion prevailed over the identity of the victim, who allegedly succumbed to custodial torture in Bhubaneswar last night.

According to police, the deceased is Pradeep Sahu, while his family members identified him as Debendra Choudhury and alleged that he was beaten to death after being picked up by Badagada Police on charges of stealing a bicycle.

What added another twist to the case was when two women got into a scuffle near Capital Hospital’s postmortem facility, each claiming to be the wife of the deceased.

Pradeep Sahu, who hailed from Kapilaprasad in the city, was picked up by police while returning home from his in-laws’ house at Rasulgarh here. He reportedly fell sick in the custody and was admitted to Capital Hospital. He breathed his last while undergoing treatment at the healthcare facility, sources said.

“My husband had no health issues. He was picked up by cops and beaten at the police station, which led to his death. He was not involved in any theft case,” one of the women, claiming to be his wife, told the media and demanded a probe into the matter.

She also questioned the delay in informing her about his arrest. “If the police nabbed my husband at 7.30, why did they inform me at 1.30 am. It proves that they killed him in the custody.” She has also lodged a complaint in this regard.

Though his family claimed that he had no criminal antecedent, police said he was a habitual cycle lifter.

The deceased was involved in multiple theft cases and suffered injuries while trying to give them a slip, which subsequently led to his death. A team tried to nab him at Brahmeswarpatna at around 8 pm and he suffered injuries during the escape bid, a police officer said.

He later fell ill at the police station and was rushed to the Capital Hospital but succumbed, the officer added.

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