VELLORE: A 55-year-old farmer, who was taken into police custody for interrogation along with his two sons in connection with a gold coin cheating case, allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself inside a toilet at Gudiyatham Police Station in Vellore district on Saturday.
The deceased, Mahendran, was a Dalit belonging to Kamatchiammanpet in KV Kuppam and had just completed lunch in the police station before allegedly committing suicide, sources said.
Gudiyatham Taluk police, who are holding a probe on a gold coin cheating case based on a complaint from Mathaian of Denkanikottai, Krishnagiri, came to his house on Friday searching for his son Ranjithkumar, whose mobile number was found in the dialling list of a mobile phone belonging to one of the suspects in the case.
The sources added that when Ranjithkumar was not at home, the police picked up his brother Pandian and kept him detained in the police station. After coming to know of it, Mahendran rushed to the police station along with Ranjithkumar. He had told the police to leave Pandian as Ranjithkumar would cooperate with them for investigations.
However, the police had detained Mahendran and his two sons without allowing them to leave for their house.
Top police officers, including SP Pravesh Kumar, visited the police station to hold inquiries.
He said, “Mahendran was found hanging in the toilet at around 2 pm. Only the centre was present at the station as the other policeman had gone for bundobust duty.
Relatives of Mahendran, however, cried foul expressing doubts over the claim of the police.
“We have suspicions on the claim of the police that Mahendran had committed suicide. An impartial inquiry must be held to bring out the truth,” Ezhilarasan, a relative of the deceased, said.
Family members and relatives of Mahendran assembled at the government hospital (GH) in Gudiyathm where his body was taken for autopsy.
Police officials said that when a mobile, belonging to one of the members of a gang that cheated Mathaian, found from Ulli in Gudiyatham, was analysed, it had the number of Ranjithkumar in the dialled list. Based on it, the police went in search of him to his house.
So, the police asked Mahendran to report for inquiry. He came to the station on Friday, gave it in writing that he would come back again on Saturday, and did so, before hanging self.
The gang had cheated Mathaian of about Rs 24 lakh by promising to give him gold coins worth more than what he paid but was given fake coins.
A magisterial inquiry will be held on the death of Mahendran since the incident occurred in the police station, SP Pravesh Kumar said.