THANJAVUR: Days after taken into police custody for interrogation, jeweller and former CPI town secretary P Rajasekaran, aged 58, died allegedly by suicide in Pattukkottai, on Sunday night. Alleging custodial torture, traders, the kin of the deceased and functionaries of the CPI staged a road blockade on Monday. The sub-inspector of police who led the interrogation has been placed in compulsory wait.
A protest march was taken out to Pattukkottai government hospital, and jewellery shops here remained closed, on Monday. The news about the death of Rajasekaran sent shockwaves across the town, with locals condemning the police for alleged torture that forced him to take the drastic step. The kin of Rajasekaran received the body only after police assured an inquiry.
On June 22, Rajasekaran, who ran a jewellery shop in Theradi street, was taken into custody for interrogation by officers attached with K K Nagar police station, Tiruchy, on charges of jewellery theft. His wife was also taken for interrogation. Search was carried out at his residence. They were released on June 24.
Meanwhile, Rajasekaran, who did not return to his house on Sunday, was found dead near the railway track at Chettiakkadu area near Pattukkottai. Railway police retrieved the body and sent it to Pattukkottai government hospital for post-mortem. According to police, Rajasekaran died by suicide.
CPI state deputy secretary N Periyasamy, Tiruthuraipoondi MLA K Marimuthu, former MLA G Palanichamy, and district secretaries M Uthirapathy and M A Bharathi held talks with the police officers to demand action over alleged custodial torture. Former MLA N R Rangarajan demanded a CB-CID probe.
(Assistance for suicidal thoughts is available on Tamil Nadu Health Department’s Helpline number 104 and Sneha’s Suicide Prevention centre helpline 044-24640050)