Bangalore: CID Records Police Statements Over Custodial Death of Congolese Man
Joel Malu, who was detained over alleged drug possession, reportedly died of a heart attack in police custody.
Days after an African man died in police custody in Bangalore, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Karnataka, on Wednesday, 4 July, recorded the statements of the police personnel who had arrested Joel Shindani Malu, The New Indian Express reported.
The 27-year-old Malu, who was detained in the early hours of 1 August over drug possession, had later complained of chest pain and died in a private hospital where he had been taken for treatment, TNM reported.
The investigation agency recorded statements of police officers from JC Nagar police station as well as those of the witnesses of the arrest. The CID is also likely to call the investigation officer as part of the enquiry, as per a TNIE report.
Who Was Joel Shindani Malu?
Congolese national Joel Shindani Malu, alias Joan, hailed from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and had come to Bangalore on a student visa.
“Available information suggests that his student visa expired on 20/07/2015 and passport expired on 13/12/2017. Investigation in UDR No 19/2021 under 176 CrPC is being conducted by PI JC Nagar as per guidelines laid down by Hon'ble National Human Rights Commission (NHRC),” DCP North Dharmender Kumar Meena was quoted as stating by TNM.
Why Was He Arrested?
According to DCP Meena, a police vehicle had approached Malu around 12:30 am on Monday while patrolling.
As Malu tried to evade the police, a few small packets, suspected to be containing drugs, fell on the ground. Malu then confessed that the substance was MDMA and that he planned to sell it, the DCP indicated, TNM reported.
“Another foreign national, who was riding the bike, escaped during the scuffle,” he added.
Malu's Death Sparks Protests
Several protesters had gathered in front of the JC Nagar police station in Bangalore at 1 pm the day after Malu died, demonstrating against his custodial death.
Around 20 protestors, belonging to various African countries, had raised slogans, such as 'Black Lives Matter', against the Bangalore Police.
The dissenters had blocked the traffic as part of their agitation, and later had also clashed with the police personnel, TNM reported. The police had subsequently resorted to lathi charge.
Both, protestors as well as a few police officials, were reported to have sustained injuries due to the scuffle. Five dissenters were booked by the police under Section 353 (assault or criminal force to stop the public servant from discharging their duties) of the Indian Penal Code and other relevant sections, as per a TNM report.
Congo Embassy Officials Arrive in Bangalore
Officials from the embassy of the Democratic Republic of Congo in Delhi had arrived in Bangalore on Tuesday, 3 August, and had discussed the case of the custodial death with the police.
“On August 3, two embassy officials arrived in the city. Malu’s body was sent for autopsy after the embassy officials took a look at the body. The post-mortem is still being carried out,” a police officer told TNM.
After the autopsy on Wednesday, Malu's body was handed over to the embassy officials, who will ensure that his mortal remains reach his family in Congo, TNIE reported.
(With inputs from The New Indian Express and The News Minute)
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