MADURAI: A 29-year-old man’s death in police custody sparked a protest by his relatives demanding action against the personnel concerned here on Saturday. The angry relatives refused to accept the body and demanded action against five policemen for torturing the man in custody. Meanwhile, a top police official told TNIE that action, if any, would be taken against the officials based on the autopsy report.
According to sources, A Manikandan alias ‘Tirupur’ Mani (24), a resident of Palanganatham in Madurai, was an auto-rickshaw driver, who had nine cases, including murder and attempt to murder, pending against him. However, his brother Jegan said that Mani had reformed. “My brother had given up crime and had been leading a peaceful life. His marriage was scheduled for next month. After taking him to the station, police beat him up so badly that he collapsed and, eventually, died.”
On Friday, Manikandan was arrested after another auto-rickshaw driver Ayyathurai lodged a complaint against him following a verbal duel. Based on the complaint, Mani was taken to the police station, where he was allegedly subjected to custodial torture. He was released after he furnished a security bond. “Manikandan was feeble ever since his return from the police station. However, within an hour, the police once again detained him on charges of attacking Ayyathurai,” Jegan alleged.
However, police claimed that after his release, Manikandan reportedly assaulted Ayyathurai. Based on this development, Mani was detained on Friday evening. Sources said Manikandan was normal till Saturday morning, but eventually developed health complications and collapsed. The policemen rushed him to the GRH, where doctors declared him “dead on arrival”.Meanwhile, Jegan and family staged a protest demanding that the five policemen, who detained Manikandan and took him to police station, be brought to book.