//UP cops set boy on fire in custody

UP cops set boy on fire in custody

Abhishek Patni CNN-IBN, May 19, 2006

Lucknow: In a shocking incident, two police officials in Lucknow have been accused of setting fire to a fruit vendor in custody after he had been held for questioning under the Drugs Act.

Suraj Pandey, a roadside vendor, claims he was picked up by two police constables on May 15 and taken to a local police station. There three constables and a sub-inspector demanded money from him and when he refused to pay up, they set him on fire

"They demanded Rs 50,000 from me. The lighter was in a constable's hand," says Suraj Pandey, the victim.

He says the policemen didn't even take him to a hospital. Instead, he was put in the lockup for two days till his condition deteriorated.

Though he was later shifted to a hospital, Suraj says the cops are now threatening to get back at him. "They are still threatening me," he claims.

The police at first tried to play down the incident. It was much later that three of the policemen were suspended. Subsequently, an enquiry was ordered into the incident.