BENGALURU: Different versions of the arrest and subsequent death of a 27-year-old man from Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) after being detained by JC Nagar police are being presented by the police and friends of the deceased, Joel Shindani Malu alias Joah.
While a senior police officer said Joah was detained around midnight on Sunday when he tried to escape on a bike and the police gave a chase to nab him, Joah’s friends said he was picked up by the police from a friend’s house in Hennur where he was attending a birthday party with his wife. According to the police version, Joah fell from his two-wheeler during the chase and started running to escape.
He was chased and apprehended. Soon after reaching the police station, he complained of chest pain and was rushed to a nearby hospital where he was declared dead around 5 am. The police version is that JC Nagar Police Sub-Inspector Raghupati, based on a tipoff about a drug exchange, laid a trap to nab a drug peddler (who they said turned out to be Joah) near 10th Cross, Banjara Layout.
The police team kept a watch and waited till the early hours of Monday. But the presence of police forced Joah to change the location of trade to Babusah Palya in Hennur police limits. As he was being apprehended, a few small plastic packets containing a white powder fell on ground which, the police said, turned out to be 5 gm of MDMA. Another foreign national who was riding a bike managed to escape during the scuffle, the police officer added.
The police said an FIR (Crime no 123/2021 u/s 21 NDPS JC Nagar PS in seizure of narcotics substance MDMA) was registered and Joah was kept at the JC Nagar police station to ascertain his identity, further inquiry and legal action against him. But it was only after Joah’s death that the police contacted Bosco, president of Pan-African Federation, to tell him about the incident and to establish the identity of the deceased. That was when they found out that Joah was a DRC national as per his expired passport details. However, one of Joah’s friends vouched that the deceased was celebrating his friend Torres’ birthday at the latter’s house in Hennur when the police raided the place and picked him up. Joah’s wife too was with him when he was detained by the police and taken to JC Nagar police station.