CHENNAI: A 34-year-old man, under medication for mental health, fell from a terrace and died after being chased by residents of Visaka Garden in Saidapet who mistook him for a thief after he loudly banged on the doors of a couple of houses at 1.40 am on Sunday.
Police identified the deceased, a resident of Nagathamman Street, Kumaran Nagar only after his family members, who had lodged a missing person complaint identified the dead body as that of one Manikandan.
When residents heard loud banging on the doors of some homes and went out to investigate, they found a man hopping from one terrace to another and suspected that the man was a thief. They began chasing him in the dark. Manikandan, fearing he would be caught, fell down while he attempted to jump over a terrace.
Some of the residents alerted the police control room and the 108 ambulance service. A patrol vehicle responded to the call and an ambulance rushed him to the Government Hospital in Saidapet. He was later referred to Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital (RGGGH) and was admitted at 4.55 am but succumbed to his injuries not responding to treatment around 2.45 pm.
His admission records both at Saidapet and at RGGGH classified him as an ‘unknown patient’ as they were unable to identify him. Meanwhile, the family of Manikandan, who had approached Kumaran Nagar police with a missing man complaint, later identified the deceased as Manikandan.
The incident attracted the attention of two rival political parties. The family of the deceased charged that Manikandan was deliberately pushed down and beaten to death while the rival group claimed that it was an accident and objected to registration of any case. Kumaran Nagar Police held talks with both sides besides picking up about 10 persons who were suspected to have been involved in the chasing. The cops have also registered a case under Section 174 of CrPC (suspicion of offence committed by another when initial evidence points to suicide or accidental death). The body was handed over to the family after a post-mortem.