40-year-old man dies in custody; family alleges torture led to death

The police claimed that the man complained of chest pain after his arrest was recorded on Monday morning and died on the way to a private hospital.

Published: 01st March 2022 06:32 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st March 2022 06:32 AM   |  A+A-

Representational image of custodial torture.

Representational image of custodial torture.

By Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Allegation of custodial death has once again come back to haunt the cops after a 40-year-old man, who was taken into custody by Thiruvallam police on the charge of attempting to outrage the modesty of women, died after allegedly suffering from chest pain on Monday morning. 

Suresh, a resident of Nelliyode, was taken into custody along with four others on Sunday night on the basis of a complaint that they had behaved indecently with a couple and a woman, who visited Judgekunnu viewpoint. The police claimed that the man complained of chest pain after his arrest was recorded on Monday morning and died on the way to a private hospital. The police claim was rejected by the locals and the relatives of Suresh, who said the five men were tortured in police custody and Suresh died of the complications arising out of custodial violence. 

City Police Commissioner G Sparjan Kumar said the five-member gang was apprehended from Judgekunnu by 11.30 pm for misbehaving with a couple and a woman, who had come for sightseeing. But he denied the allegation of police excesses and said Suresh could have died of cardiac arrest. “The five were picked up from Judgekunnu and later were subjected to medical tests at Poonthura government hospital. On Monday morning, Suresh complained of chest pain and the police took him to the Medical College. But his condition grew worse on the way and was taken to a private hospital near Chackai, where he was declared dead,” the Commissioner said.

He said the men were booked under IPC 354 and 323, both non-bailable offences.” A group of men had misbehaved with the husband and wife, both of them software engineers. Five of them were apprehended after the victims dialled up the police control room. The allegation of custodial violence against the police is baseless,” he added.

However, the relatives and friends of Suresh alleged that the men were beaten up in police custody. “The five were beaten up and Suresh died because of that. The Station House Officer and the Sub-inspector should be suspended,” one of the relatives of Suresh said.

Political parties and social organisations conducted protests outside the police station, which posed a few anxious moments for the cops. The protestors demanded the release of the four other arrested and sought action against the cops. They also blocked the road, crippling vehicular movement along the busy stretch. Finally Sub Collector Madhavikutty M S intervened and pacified them after assuring that a proper inquiry will be conducted into the incident. She also informed the protestors that two separate inquests- one by the RDO and another one by the magistrate will be conducted. 

Meanwhile, a section of local people said couples who visited Judgekunnu were regularly heckled by anti-social elements. “The husband and wife and a woman, who accompanied them were heckled by a few men on Sunday night. They threatened them and demanded money. But when the couple stood their ground, they were attacked by the men, who were in an inebriated state,” they claimed.

Congress demands judicial probe
T’Puram: Congress state president K Sudhakaran sought a judicial probe into the mysterious death of a 40-year-old man in Thiruvallam police station on Monday.  Sudhakaran said the police’s version that the man had died of chest pain while being taken to the hospital is not convincing. Opposition Leader V D Satheesan also sought a comprehensive probe. “Since the police are the accused, only a judicial probe can bring out the truth. When a person is taken into custody, he or she will be taken for medical examination. In this case, the person had not shown any uneasiness when he was produced before the doctor. If he had any problem, why was he not given medical care?” asked Sudhakaran.


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