Another incident of a man dying in the custody of Tamil Nadu police emerged on Monday, 13 June, as 33-year-old Rajashekar, died after he was arrested by the Kodangaiyur police in Chennai on Sunday.
Five policemen who arrested him have been placed under suspension by the Chennai Police Commissioner.
The five suspended policemen have been identified as Kodangaiyur Station House Officer (SHO) George Miller Ponraj, Sub-Inspector Kanniappan, head constables Jaysekar and Manivannan, and constable Sathyamoorthy.
The man who died in custody is Rajashekhar, who was categorised as a ‘B category’ history-sheeter by Sholavaram police and had around 30 cases against him.
S Rajashekhar, also known as Appu, was picked up by the police from Kodungaiyur police station in Manali in Tamil Nadu in connection with a jewelry theft case.
TOI reports that he was allegedly interrogated at a police booth which is when he collapsed due to uneasiness.
According to reports, the police were interrogating him about some gold jewellery that was stolen and some amount of gold has been recovered from him.
After he complained of uneasiness, Rajashekhar was rushed to the Government Stanley hospital where he was declared as brought dead. A post-mortem will be carried out to ascertain the cause of death.
Meanwhile, after hearing about his death, Rajashekjar’s relatives gathered at the hospital and alleged custodial death.
His family has alleged that he was picked up two days ago and was illegally detained by the police and tortured in custody. The police have maintained that he had health issues and complications which led to his collapse.
The Chennai Police Commissioner has launched a probe into the man’s death, and has transferred the case to the CB-CID (Crime Branch, Crime Investigation Department) and has suspended five policemen.
The other cases against him ranged from house break-ins, theft and robbery to cases of attempt to murder. He had been named as an accused in a Kodangaiyur jewellery theft case.
This incident comes just over a month after the custodial death of 25-year-old Vignesh shook Chennai.
25-year-old Vignesh, who used to offer horse rides at the city’s Marina Beach, was taken into custody by the G5 Secretariat Colony police station, along with Suresh, a construction worker, on 18 April.
He died on 19 April. The Chennai police had claimed that Vignesh had a seizure and died while being taken to the hospital, but the post-mortem report contradicted the police’s version of events, and showed that Vignesh had suffered multiple wounds and a fracture.
(Published in an arrangement with The News Minute.)