Gujarat: Man Held for Transporting Beef Dies by 'Suicide' in Police Custody
New Delhi: A man died, allegedly by suicide, hours after he was arrested on charges of transporting beef in Gujarat's Panchmahal district, Indian Express has reported .
Thirty-two-year-old Qasim Abdullah Hayat against whom police said the FIR was filed at 7.45 pm on September 15, had not been produced before a magistrate. He had been arrested for allegedly carrying cow meat for delivery. Those who he was allegedly going to deliver the meat to were also charged in the same FIR.
The FIR, which was filed at the Godhra B Division police station by an assistant police constable says that on September 14, police received a tip-off that Qasim was riding a two-wheeler from Sevaliya to Godhra with beef in the luggage compartment.
The accused were booked under section 429 (mischief by killing or maiming cattle) of the Indian Penal Code, section 11 (treating animals cruelly) of the the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, and under the Gujarat Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act, 2017.
The Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled state of Gujarat has one of the harshest anti-cow slaughter laws in the country. Conviction under the Gujarat Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act, 2017, can earn accused persons upto a life term in jail.
Police told the news outlet that Qasim's death was captured on the police station lockup's CCTV camera as having occurred at 3.20 am on Thursday, September 16.
Qasim's family has demanded a fair investigation into his death. Express has reported that Qasim had told police he was carrying mutton, not beef, but that he had told police that he had transported beef a couple of days ago.
Qasim's arrest took place after a veterinary doctor said the meat he was carrying was beef but he also advised that a sample should be sent to the Forensic Science Laboratory in Surat for confirmation, Express reported.
If you know someone - friend or family member - at risk of suicide, please reach out to them. The Suicide Prevention India Foundation maintains a list of telephone numbers they can call to speak in confidence. Icall, a counselling service run by TISS, has maintained a crowdsourced list of therapists across the country. You could also take them to the nearest hospital.