COIMBATORE: Relatives of a 20-year-old youth from Kumbakonam, who was secured by the Tirupur police in connection with a theft case, alleged that his death was an outcome of custodial torture.
N Dineshkumar (20), a worker at a private textile mill in Tirupur in the city, had come to the city two years ago. On Wednesday, he was secured by the Tirupur rural police in connection with a bike theft case and taken to the Tirupur North police station. He died at the Coimbatore Medical College Hospital on Sunday.
According to Dineshkumar’s sister Divya, the police came to their house in Kumbakonam on Thursday and informed them that Dineshkumar suffered seizures and was admitted to a private hospital in Coimbatore.
The Tirupur police, who went to Kumbakonam, brought Dineshkumar’s father Nagarajan along to Coimbatore. On Friday, Divya got a call from her father Nagarajan, who told her that he saw Dineshkumar for a brief period. He said that his son was on ventilator support.
The hospital authorities told Nagarajan that his son Dineshkumar needed a surgery in the neck and he was asked to shell out Rs 10 lakh.
As Nagarajan did not have enough money, Dineshkumar was shifted to the Coimbatore Medical College Hospital, where he died on Saturday night without responding to the treatment.
“The police admitted my brother last night around 9.30. According to the hospital, he died on Saturday night. We visited the hospital in the morning and we were running from pillar to post to locate him. We came to know he had died only later,” said Meenakshi, Dineshkumar’s younger sister.
“We still have not met our father since Friday. We have not seen Dinesh’s body as well. None of the police personnel came forward to talk to us. We are worried about our father also,” said Divya.
Meanwhile, the family members alleged that he died of police torture in custody. However, refuting the claims the Tirupur police claimed that they admitted Dinesh to a private hospital in Coimbatore.
However, as per rules, police need to admit accused to government hospitals. While police claimed Dinesh was suffering from a fever, the din created by the relatives seeking a high-level inquiry forced their hands to register a case under section 176 (any person dies while in the custody of the police) of Code of Criminal Procedure.
Later, Tirupur judicial magistrate T Nithyakala arrived at the Coimbatore Medical College Hospital for an inquiry.