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Rape protests: Row over constable's death as witness contradicts police

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Dec 26, 2012 at 11:59am IST

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New Delhi: A day after Delhi Police constable Subhash Tomar died following Sunday's clashes at anti-rape protests at India Gate, there is controversy over his death. An eyewitness account and pictures from the scene reportedly contradict the Delhi Police version that he was assaulted by protesters. A journalism student, who reached the spot after the incident, claims the 46 year-old constable collapsed while walking.

The eyewitness Yongendra said the constable was not assaulted by protesters but simply collapsed while walking. He says he is baffled that the police is alleging murder and have arrested eight people for his death.

ALSO SEE Gangrape protests: Home Ministry announces Rs 10 lakh ex-gratia for deceased constable's family

"I was surprised to hear that 8 were arrested over Subhash Tomar's death. I saw him in hospital and and his body didn't have any injuries. He wasn't trampled by a mob, he wasn't assaulted. He just collapsed while walking. I don't think people should be arrested over this," Yogendra said.

Reacting to Yogendra's claims, Aam Aadmi Party National Convener Arvind Kejriwal tweeted, "Yogendra, a journo student, eyewitness to Tomar's death. His account opp of police account. Is police lying?" AAP member Yogendra Yadav also added that the TV footage shows opposite of what the police are saying. The police said the rioters had hit him, he was trampled upon by protestors and this is why he has collapsed. The footage says he collapsed on his own. Who can deny footage on camera? Police is informally feeding stories to media about him being trampled. The evidence that's enough is in the public domain, it suggests the contrary," he said.

ALSO SEE Gangrape protests: Eyewitness says constable collapsed, he wasn't beaten up

AAP member Manish Sisodia said the police were politicising Tomar's death to cover their mistakes. "The Delhi Police should have dealt the matter with sensitivity and honoured the constable's death. But, the police have politicised the death to cover their own mistakes. We feel that the Delhi Police are involved in a conspiracy. The police commissioner should be sacked."

Meanwhile, police say there were injuries on Tomar's stomach, chest and neck. The post-mortem report is awaited. The Delhi Police have also booked eight people in constable Tomar's case, which includes a member of Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party.

On Tuesday, constable Subash Tomar was laid to rest with full state honours. He was injured in clashes with protestors and succumbed to his injuries.

Meanwhile, his family blamed the protesters for his death. "It is the mob which is responsible for my brother's death," said Tomar's brother Yudhveer Singh.

"My brother passed away this morning. He had been critical since Sunday. He was on life support. What was his fault?," Tomar's second brother Devinder Singh asked. "He was only doing his job and now he is no more. His family has no other source of income. He was very committed to his duty," Singh added.

Subhash Tomar's son accused the public of brutally beating up his father. "No leader has come to there (hospital) to see him. Public is responsible for this because they beat him so badly. Can they return my father back?" asked Tomar's son, Deepak.

Tomar, posted at Karawal Nagar police station, was deployed on law and order duty, and was rushed to Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital after being injured and was put on ventilator support, police said. The 46-year-old constable belonged to Meerut.

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