CPI(ML) held a protest candle march from the Ranchi Party headquarters to the Albert Ekka square in Ranchi against the custodial death of Vikas Lakda, demanding enquiry and action against the accused police officers. CPI(ML) demanded that an FIR be lodged based on the statement of Vikas Lakda’s wife Preeti Lakda. Also, a compensation of Rs 5 lakh should be paid to the family of the victim and a government job should be guaranteed to one member of the family. Addressing the protestors, CPI(ML) district secretary Bhuvaneshwar Kewat stated that there is completely travesty of justice and law and order in the state. On the one hand, murderers are being opened feted and rewarded, cases against hundreds of accused have been withdrawn, and the murder-accused MLA Sanjiv is being awarded state protection. On the other hand, innocents like Vikas Lakda die in custody. He added that Jharkhand is fast moving towards earning the dubious reputation of having the maximum number of prisoners and custodial deaths – while Dalits and adivasis are bearing the brunt of state policy. Around a dozen people have died in police custody in the past one and a half years.
CPI(ML) leader Sudama Khalko said that Vikas Lakda was a worker, he had no criminal record. The police narrative that Lakda committed suicide in the peak of summer by using a warm blanket is completely false. The responsible police officers should be charged with section 302 and arrested as well as tried for murder. Mere suspension is not sufficient. Anil Lakda, Imanuel Haque, Mahadeo Oraon, Shanti Sen, Eti Tirki, Singi Khalko, Elisabba Ekka, the deceased’s aunt Rukmani Lakda Salim bhai, Badriprasad Chaurasiya, Vinod Thakur and others were also present.