At 11.45 pm on Wednesday night, Prema received a call from the Virudhachalam jail to inform that her husband who was picked up under suspicion in a theft case has been admitted to the district government hospital. Prema along with her two children immediately rushed to the hospital only to be informed that her husband had breathed his last and he had seizures before he died.
Selvamurugan, father of two children and a shop owner, was picked up on his visit to Vadalur by Neyveli town police under suspicion in a theft case on October 28. He was then remanded at Virudhachalam jail on November 2 and his wife who saw him on the same day hoped to bring him back home soon. However, he breathed his last in a Government Hospital on Wednesday night.
Prema immediately after seeing the body raised suspicion of custodial torture and alleges that she saw several wounds on her husbandâ€™s body. She immediately gave a complaint to Police Superintendent Sree Abhinav. She also started her protest denying to receive the body from the hospital until a case is slapped against police personnel.
In the letter to the SP, Prema said, â€śMy husband Selvamurugan went to Vadalur for business-related work and informed me that he would return by 4 pm on October 28. However, he did not return till late evening. So I informed my relatives in Vadalur and reached the place along with my children.â€ť
Prema along with the relatives searched around Vadalur but to no vain. â€śI went to the Vadalur police station for registering a complaint but they told me to go to Neyveli police station. There I was intercepted by DSP crime Sudhakar and a few more police officers. They told me that there are many cases pending against my husband," she wrote.
However, the next day Prema alleged that she received a call from her husbandâ€™s number and it was told that he is being held at Rani and Rani Lodge. â€śSo I rushed to the lodge along with my children. The police told me to give a gold chain with 10 sovereigns and take him back since theft cases were allegedly pending against him. They also threatened me to give the money but I told them that I do not have money or gold and left the place,â€ť she said.
Once again, Prema said that she received a call on October 30 and upon reaching the station she saw her husband. â€śMy husband was not in a position to walk. They allowed me to speak to him and he told me that they were telling him to accept the crime cases. He cried to me telling me to save him,â€ť she alleged.
Prema alleged that the police told her to sign blank papers and threatened her to not reveal anything that happened there.
Meanwhile, Selvamurugan was remanded to Virudhachalam sub-jail on November 2. Prema alleged, â€śI went to see my husband and one of the police officers said that he is unable to eat because he had sustained injuries to the throat.â€ť
She then recieved a call on November 4. â€śThey said that my husband is admitted to Virudhachalam Government hospital. So I rushed along with my children and there they said that my husband succumbed due to seizures.â€ť
Speaking to reporters she said, â€śI went along with the Magistrate to see the body and I saw wounds all around the neck. They have hit him on the feet and back. So I cannot believe that my husband got seizures and died. He has died only because of the torture in custody.â€ť
One of Prema's neighbours told TNM, â€śSix relatives went along with Prema and they said that they saw many wounds. They saw blood clots on neck, back and back of the legs. This is unfair and the government should take necessary action.â€ť
Prema and her relatives staged a protest for the second consecutive day demanding that the Cuddalore SP take action against the DSP crime, police personnel of Neyveli station and other police officers.