THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Crime Branch that began its probe into the death of a 37-year-old man in Fort police station said it appeared to be a case of suicide as the eyewitness account and the forensic leads suggest that the person was not subjected to custodial torture while being detained in connection with a mobile phone theft case.
Ansari, a native of Karimadom, was found hanging in the toilet of the police station on Sunday night after the police detained him for allegedly stealing a mobile phone from a person near Padmanabhaswamy temple. Ansari was kept in the Child Friendly Janamaithri Centre from where he went to the toilet. When he failed to return, the police checked the toilet and found him hanging using his dhoti. The incident had ignited doubt whether police highhandedness and torture had resulted in his death, which the cops were trying to pass off as suicide. The Fort police station had been in news for the custodial murder of Udayakumar, who was arrested on similar theft charges, in 2005.
District Crime Branch Assistant Commissioner M K Zulfikar, who probed the incident, ruled out any foulplay and said the statement given by the doctor, who had conducted the autopsy, and the youngsters, who were present alongside Ansari in the station, proved the deceased was not assaulted. “The doctor said there was no injury mark or lacerations on his body and it appears to be a case of suicide,” said Zulfikar.
However, the police committed a glaring mistake by not entering the detention details in the Station Diary. This discrepancy was noted during the morning inspection conducted by Zulfikar. “The matter of Ansari’s detention was not entered in the diary. This could have happened because of Covid-19. The complainant also did not turn up and the cops might have thought of entering it after receiving a complaint from the aggrieved person,” said Zulfikar.