A 15-year-old boy from Thiruvallur district in Tamil Nadu killed himself on Tuesday morning. David hanged himself in his house when no one was around, and his family has now alleged that he decided to take the extreme step due to police torture.
On Sunday, at 3.30pm, the Thiruverkadu police reached David’s residence and took him in for questioning regarding a theft case. “They took him and six other boys from the locality suspecting them of stealing six to seven bikes,” says Jeslin, David’s relative. “They were taken in for questioning again on Monday, and the police sent them back only late in the night,” she says.
Jeslin says David came back crying from the police station, and told his mother that he couldn’t bear the pain and that he did not steal any bikes. “He had told his mother that they would tie his hands and beat him up with a stick. He had repeatedly told police that he did not know anything about the theft, but they would keep saying if you tell us the truth, we will let you go,” says Jeslin.
On Tuesday morning, the boy ran from the police station and hurriedly came to the house and hanged himself to death. “There was no one in the house. His parents were at the police station and he hanged himself to death in the bathroom,” says Jeslin.
David’s parents, Vaichinna and Jaysali, work as helpers at a temple in Thiruverkadu.
“This is a murder not a suicide. The family is very poor and they struggle even for three meals a day. If the boy was stealing, why would they be in this condition?” asks Jeslin.
She adds that police have been randomly arresting youngsters from their locality in crime cases and this is not the first instance. However, she says that this was the first time David was arrested for a case.
The family also claims that police has been asking them to sign a few papers so that a post-mortem can be conducted. But the family is scared of signing any papers.
“We have refused to sign any papers. They have also been threatening us to not speak about it. We do not want them to conduct a post-mortem. They could write anything and get our signs. How can we believe them?” Jeslin asks.
“The police are not even letting him die in peace,” says Jeslin.
The boy’s body is currently at the Kilpauk Medical College and Hospital.
Thiruverkadu police station told TNM that they had called the boy for inquiry and sent him back with his parents. When asked about the theft case, police said that no case has been filed against the boy and refused to divulge any more information.
TNM tried contacting the police inspector but he was unavailable for comments.