MANDYA: A 45-year-old man, who was in the custody of the Mandya West police, was found dead under mysterious circumstances early on Friday. The deceased Murthy alias Thammaiah was allegedly picked up by the police along with two others on Monday for interrogation in connection with motorcycle theft cases. Following his death, Murthy’s kin and leaders from various Dalit organisations staged a protest and accused the police of beating him to death in the name of interrogation. Another accused in the case, who was granted bail by a court on Tuesday, too alleged that they were tortured while in police custody. In the evening, four policemen, including a sub-inspector, were suspended for dereliction of duty.
The deceased Murthy was a native of Belthur village in Maddur taluk in the district. According to police, Murthy allegedly committed suicide at an under-construction bathroom in the backyard of the station around 5.30am. He had allegedly hung himself from the window grills in the bathroom with a piece of blanket.
Mandya SP G Radhika rubbished the allegations levelled by protesters. Speaking to TNIE, she said, “According to available information, Murthy had cut a piece of blanket given to him and had hid it in his pocket. He insisted on using the bathroom outside. When he did not return even after 10 minutes, the police personnel went to check on him, only to find him hanging from the window grills. No external injuries were found on the body.”
Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy has the sought details of the incident.
Leaders of several dalit organisations staged a protest outside Mandya Institute of Medical Sciences (MIMS) . “When Murthy’s relative went to meet him, he was turned away,” they further alleged.Nagaraju, a native of Antarahalli in Maddur taluk, also claimed that they were tortured by police in custody. “We were picked up by the police on Monday itself. However, I was produced before court and was released on bail,” he said.Deputy Commissioner Manjushree, who met the protesters, promised to look into the issue.
Mandya SP G Radhika, however, rubbished the allegations of protesters. The Criminal Investigation Department will investigate the case. Both judicial and autopsy reports are awaited.
Four cops suspended
PSI Anand, attached to the station, head constables Madesh (station house officer at that time) and Varadaraju (lock-up guard) and sentry Mallikarjun have been kept under suspension pending enquiry, SP Radhika said.