The Odisha government removed Puri’s superintendent of police Akhileshvar Singh and placed four other officers on suspension over Thursday’s custodial deaths in Puri and Sundargarh. Sambalpur SP Kanwar Vishal Singh will take charge of the Puri district. In Sundargarh, inspector-in-charge Smruti Prava Pradhan was suspended for failure and negligence.

Sub-inspector Biplab Kumar Pradhan and constables Jagannath Swain and Babuli Behera were among other police officers suspended in Puri.

“Akhileshvar Singh has been transferred and attached to state police headquarters. Sambalpur SP KV Singh has been transferred and posted as Puri SP,” the State home ministry said in a statement.

Opposition BJP and Congress had voiced the issue in the assembly, following which people started to protest calling for an immediate action against the police personnel involved in the custodial deaths.

“Suspension of the SP and transfer of some police officers are not enough. Criminal cases should be registered against them,” Puri MLA (BJP) Jayant Sarangi said as quoted by The Times of India.

Allegedly, the police officers in two police stations, Baselisahi and Biramitrapur, beat 30-year-old K Ramesh and 28-year-old Mohammad Tariq to death on Thursday. The two men were arrested on charges of separate crimes.

The opposition parties alleged that Puri SP Akhileshvar had ordered the police officers to cremate Ramesh without informing his family about his death.

“The law and order situation in the state is in tatters. The government has been using the police as a tool to intimidate people. The police excess has crossed all limits,” BJP leader of opposition Pradipta Kumar Naik told reporters after the assembly session.