DOKOLO. A 11-year-old boy has reportedly died in a police cell under unclear circumstances.
The victim, who was arrested together with another juvenile on Tuesday by a businessman for allegedly breaking into his shop and stealing sweets, was reportedly found dead in the cell on Wednesday morning.
But North Kyoga regional police spokesperson, Mr David Ongom Mudong, told this reporter that the boy died before entering the police cell.
“The DPC is going to compile a report and then give it to me. It is alleged that these [children] had broken into a shop. Instead of reporting to police, they tortured them and one died,” Mr Ongom said.
The police account contradicts a witness account by another juvenile suspect, who insists that his friend died in the police cell. The suspect, who was in the same cell with the deceased, reportedly told police that the victim kept crying that he wanted to go out for a short call before he stopped breathing and passed out.
The shop owner identified as Mr Isaac Chandi of Adeknino Trading Centre in Adeknino Sub-county, had arrested the duo and handed them to police at Adeknino Police Post for safe custody.
The officer in-charge of Adeknino Police Post, Mr Samuel Elyebu, confirmed that the suspects were booked in when they were tortured, but he could not confirm whether the boy died while in the police cell.
Mr Chandi, 30, who is being held at Dokolo District Central Police Station after he handed himself over to police, denied having a hand in the boy’s death.
In his statement recorded at the police station, Mr Chandi accused a chapatti dealer, Mr Richard Okonye, of kicking the deceased as he was being taken to the police post. Mr Okonye denied the accusation.
But the Dokolo District police commander, Mr Aminsi Kayondo Lukanga, faulted Mr Chandi for arresting the minors without informing the police. He warned the public against taking the law into their hands.
By press time, the victim’s body had been taken to Dokolo Health Centre IV for a post-mortem.