'Custodial death': Postmortem report reveals seven injuries on body of SC youth in TN
Meanwhile, the deceased man's relatives protested for the third day on Saturday by not receiving the body from the hospital.
TIRUNELVELI/TENKASI: Postmortem report of the alleged custodial death victim and Palayamkottai Central Prison inmate, M Thangasamy, has revealed the presence of seven irregular reddish-brown abrasions on his body. According to the report, all the injuries occurred three to four days before death.
Thangasamy, a Scheduled Caste youth, was arrested by Puliyangudi police in Tenkasi district in a suo-motu case on June 11 for allegedly supplying liquor bottles to a 60-year-old woman for illegal sales. He reportedly died on June 14 in prison and was declared brought dead by doctors at Tirunelveli Medical College Hospital (TvMCH).
Meanwhile, the deceased man's relatives protested for the third day on Saturday by not receiving the body from the hospital. According to the postmortem report, the irregular abrasions included a 2x2 cm abrasion over tip of right shoulder, 0.5x0.5 cm over inner aspect of right little finger, 1.5x0.5 cm over front of right lower knee, 1x1 cm over midline of lower back, 0.5x0.5 cm over midline of lower back, 2.5x1 cm over left hip and 0.5x0.5 cm over the front of left upper leg.
Thangasamy got these injuries three or four days prior to his death, which took place at 5.45 pm on June 14 as per the FIR registered by Perumalpuram police. Apart from injuries, three black scabs, which are five to seven days old were also noted on the body. In the postmortem report, TvMCH doctors reserved the declaration of the cause of death until the results of chemical analysis of viscera and histopathological examination of tissues are out.
Meanwhile, in a press conference held by members of the Joint Action Committee Against Custodial Torture, advocate Ramesh of CPI(ML) alleged that the Perumalpuram police are attempting to tamper with the postmortem's video footage. "As per a 2020 High Court order, the relatives of the custodial death victims should have been allowed to videograph his body. But, the city police personnel deleted the video taken by Thangamani's relative," he said.
"Also, against the High Court's direction, the hospital administration refused to provide Thangamani's family with the video footage shot during the postmortem examination. The Perumalpuram police have already received the video footage and they told that they will hand it over to the Judicial Magistrate. However, the Judicial Magistrate Court staff told us that they have not received the footage yet. We doubt that the police are attempting to tamper with the video to protect Puliyangudi police personnel, who tortured Thangasamy," he claimed.
People's Watch advocate SP Madasamy noted that the committee had urged the Investigating Officer to secure the CCTV footage of the police station and prison.