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Held in drug case, man dies in police custody 

Patiala: A 70-year-old man from Belumajra village in Patiala district died in custody after he was arrested and was being brought to Ghagga police station in a drug case this afternoon.His family members and other village residents blocked the Patiala-Patran road, demanding action against the policemen who had arrested him. Later, a case was registered against head constables Jaswinder Singh, Bhola Singh and Gurmail Singh and two unidentified persons under Section 302 (murder) of the IPC.Harnek was arrested from the village dharamshala, where he was sitting with other villagers.Three head constables and two constables picked up Harnek amid resistance from villagers. He was being brought to the police station in a car, but he collapsed on the way.Villagers claimed that Harnek used to consume poppy husk at times, but was not involved in any case and it was his arrest that led to his death.The situation remained tense for a few hours on the Patiala-Patran road as the protesters overturned a car and smashed another car of a Sub-Inspector.The dharna was lifted after a case was registered against the cops. The body was sent to the Samana hospital for a post-mortem examination.Superintendent of Police (SP, Detective) HS Virk said it seemed to be a case of natural death. “Though we have registered a case against the three cops on the demand of villagers, we will wait for the postmortem report for further action. The cops were bringing him to the police station when he collapsed, possibly due to cardiac arrest,” he said.“We have asked all cops who had gone to arrest him to submit their detailed statement,” he added.

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