The family of an NRI who died in Singapore in 2012 still awaits justice

He didnt commit suicide Family of NRI found dead in Singapore in 2012 fights for justiceImage: Second from right: Deenadayalan and his family
news Saturday, January 16, 2016 - 15:02

In March 2012, the body of 26-year old Deenadayalan was found on Clement Avenue in Singapore. It’s been four years since the untimely death and his family is still struggling to understand what happened on the night of March 27, 2012.

In 2007, Deenadayalan, then 21-year-old, left for Singapore with the help of his friend Selva Kumar and his family who stay in Singapore.

The Singapore police have closed the case as one of suicide, but the family insists there was foul play.

An engineering graduate, he had got a job in mission maintenance in a company called NK Chemicals Pvt Limited. His elder sister Poongodayi said, "We all were so happy and thought he would be able to get us out of our financial troubles and better our family conditions."

That dream ended in tragedy as his body was found at Celement Avenue on March 28, 2012, an area far from his rented house in Jurong West. He was a permanent resident of Singapore.

Singapore Police claimed that they got a call from Deenadayalan on March 27 telling them that he was about to commit suicide. V Kannadasan, a senior advocate practising in Madras High court and the family's counsel said that the Singapore police did not even make it a point to go and check if his claim was true. Next day morning, a woman called them and informed that she had found an Indian man's body dumped on Clement Avenue.

The family was informed about the death by the Indian embassy in Singapore. None of the family members had passport or money to go to Singapore, so the Indian embassy sent the body back to India. 

The Singapore police said that Deenadayalan had committed suicide due to difficulty in repaying small loans he had taken.

But the family does not believe it. “We are very sure that it was a murder. What was the need for him to leave his house and go to another place to commit suicide? If he wanted to commit suicide he could have done that in his building which has eight floors rather than jumping from a 40- floor building away from his house," said Poongodayi. 

Kannadasan too does not believe that it was a suicide. "The man owed about Rs.10000 and earned about Rs.50,000. He won't commit suicide for such a small amount," he said. 

"There were injuries on his thighs and hands. There were internal injuries also. It looked like knife inflicted injuries. If the police claims that he jumped from the 40th floor and committed suicide, why he does not have any head injuries?," Kannadasan asks.

Deendayalan's mother and sister Poongodayi with their counsel Kannadasan had visited Singapore in 2013. They visited the place where the body was found dead. His sister said, "There were no cameras in that area and it was a secluded area."

The family claims that the Indian embassy in Singapore has not been very helpful in the case. "The Singapore police had asked the Indian embassy to come for coroner inquiry. It is an inquiry conducted on the deceased body by a judicial officer. The passport officer Natrajan had represented the family in that inquiry, but he did not ask any questions put up by the family and the case was shut," said Kannadasan.

Kannadasan also said that the Indian embassy had told them that they discarded belongings of the deceased and had to write to the President and Ministry of External Affairs to get back the belongings.

Poongodayi feels that Selva Kumar, her brother's close friend is also hiding the truth from them. "We have repeatedly tried to get in touch with him and his family but they avoid us. Selva Kumar said that he does not want to get involved in this case," she said.

Deendayalan was staying with Selva Kumar and his family for more than five years and in the last three months only he had shifted to a nearby rented house.

Asked if her brother told her about any problems he faced before he died, she said, "He was happy that day as he had got his salary. He also sent his pictures to my younger brother on Facebook."

The family has written to the President Pranab Mukherjee and also the Ministry of External Affairs.  Recently, they wrote to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister's Cell and are also planning to file a case in the Madras High Court.

Deendayalan's father Jayachandran and his mother Ponnarambu had placed their hopes on their son, a sick and aged Jayachandran cannot even step out of his house now.

“It’s all up to me and my mother to find what happened to him. We just need to know the truth,”Poongodayi says.

Deendayalan's younger brother Krishnasamy has also completed his engineering, but his mother does not want to him to go abroad.. "She is scared to send him. She does not want to lose her second son," said Poongodi.  

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