VELLORE/CHENNAI:Chief Judicial Magistrate of Vellore, S Sivakadatcham has ordered a judicial inquest into the death of Sameel Basha, who was reportedly illegally detained by the Pallikonda police and beaten up. He died in the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital (RGGGH) in Chennai on Friday.
Basha was allegedly involved in an illicit relationship with Pavithra, a married woman, who reportedly went ‘missing’ on June 13. Following this, Basha was picked up for inquiry by the police.
Talking to Express, N K Mohammed Ghouse, Basha’s father-in-law, said, “We handed over Basha to the Pallikonda police at 11 am on June 15 after the family of the woman (Pavithra) created a ruckus in our area. But the police tied him and beat him up badly.” Basha’s father, K Shah Jahan, said, “The Pallikonda police station inspector took my son to a guesthouse in Ambur on June 15.”
Sources in the police department confirmed that inspector Martin Premraj kept Basha in illegal custody for four days near Pallikonda police station. However, no report was filed stating that he was in police custody.
Ghouse claimed he visited the police station several times between June 15 and 18, but Basha was not to be seen there. The policemen in the station apparently told him that Premraj had taken Basha for inquiry in connection with Pavithra’s case. On June 18, Ghouse called sub-inspector of police Ravi from his mobile phone. “The SI told me that they were taking Basha to Salem for inquiry and disconnected the call,” he claimed. Ghouse also alleged that Premraj finally handed over Basha to him at 12.40 pm on June 19 after obtaining a written assurance from him that they would produce Basha for inquiry, if necessary.
Ghouse added, “(Inspector) Premraj asked me to give hot compression treatment to Basha as he had injuries, but claimed there was nothing to worry about. He said they are not registering a case either. But Basha was in a bad shape and could not move his right hand.”
Basha was taken to the Ambur GH and admitted for treatment at 3 pm on June 19. He was shifted to the Government Vellore Medical College Hospital, Adukkamparai on June 23. He was moved to the RGGGH on June 26 and around 5.40 pm the same day, he passed away, Shah Jahan claimed.
Doctors at the RGGGH said, “Though there were no visible injuries, he suffered polytrauma (multiple traumatic injuries).” The brachial plexus, a nerve which is under the shoulder joint and carries signals from the brain to the muscles that move the arms, was injured. He suffered ‘cardiac arrest’ and died, the doctors said.
A case has been registered under Section 176 of the CrPC against Premraj and six other policemen — special inspector of police Sabarathinam and constables Nagaraj, Ayyappan, Murali, Suresh and Muniyan — following a complaint lodged by Basha’s family members.
P K Senthilkumari, SP, Vellore, denied that Basha was in police custody. “The family handed him to the police on June 15 and took him home on the same day. Again, they brought him in on June 19 and took him away,” she claimed.