TN: De-addiction centre inmate from Ambedkar Nagar in Chennai neighbourhood dies 'after being thrashed by owner, two others'
CHENNAI: Three persons - the owner of a de-addiction centre, its caretaker and an employee - were arrested for allegedly assaulting an ill inmate of the centre, leading to his death. The deceased has been identified as P Vijay (28) from Ambedkar Nagar in Adambakkam, an autorickshaw driver. Sources said his family had admitted Vijay to the private rehabilitation centre, The Green Life Foundation, located in Om Shakthi Nagar in Valsaravakkam, as he was addicted to alcohol.
The suspects are V Vinoth Kumar (41) from Maduravoyal, the owner, S Cruz (34) from Virudhunagar, working as caretaker, and R Ajay (19) from Thiruvallur district who works as a staff. Police said Vijay was admitted to the centre on September 12, and on November 25, he developed chest pain leading to suffocation. “The staff initially claimed that they rushed him to the hospital and he died there. A case of unnatural death under CrPC 174 was registered earlier,” said a senior police officer.
Meanwhile when Vijay’s brother Rajesh reached the Kilpauk Medical College and Hospital mortuary, Cruz and Vinoth Kumar blocked him and refused to let him see the body. “They said they would dispose the body themselves,” said a police officer.
The police constable at the mortuary intervened and let Rajesh see Vijay’s body. Police said Rajesh found blood clots on the hand and chest of Vijay and lodged a complaint at the Valasaravakkam police station. Based on his complaint, the police conducted an investigation and found that the man was assaulted prior to his death.
“After Vijay complained of chest pain and suffocation, the trio not only denied him medical attention but also beat him up claiming that he was pretending. When Vijay was finally brought to the hospital around 6pm on November 25, he had been suffering from chest pain since morning. The suspects also altered the CCTV footage by editing the scenes of assault,” said the police officer.
The police arrested the three under charges of IPC 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 304 ii (knowing that their actions might cause death) and 201 (destroying evidence of crime). They have been remanded in judicial custody.
Vijay is survived by his wife and parents.