'Neck broken, head was bleeding': Family raises questions about custodial death of 20-year-old

Dineshkumar's family said that he wasn't sick, and that the nature of his injuries didn't seem it had been caused by an accident. They are yet to receive his post-mortem report.
'Neck broken, head was bleeding': Family raises questions about custodial death of 20-year-old
'Neck broken, head was bleeding': Family raises questions about custodial death of 20-year-old
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Dineshkumar, a 20-year-old man from Kumbakonam, died in Coimbatore Medical College Hospital on Sunday. Relatives of the man alleged that he died due to injuries that were caused while he was in police custody in Tirupur.

However, the Commissioner of Police, Tirupur told TNM that the case is under judicial inquiry by the magistrate. “Dineshkumar was arrested for stealing a two-wheeler with his friend. An FIR was registered against him at Tirupur North police station under Section 379 (Punishment for theft) of IPC. But, the cause of his death was natural, and an FIR has been filed against the Tirupur North Police under Section 176 of CrPc (Inquiry by magistrate into cause of death). We can only say anything on the basis of the judicial inquiry,” he said.

He added that the body was handed over to the family on Sunday, and was cremated in Kumbakonam on Sunday.

Dineshkumar, the deceased, was taken into custody by the Tirupur North Police on Wednesday along with his friend for stealing a bike. He was working as a construction worker in Tirupur.  

On Thursday, Divyapriya, Dineshkumar’s sister was informed by the Tirupur North Police that he had seizures while they hit him in the police custody. “They told me that they had arrested him for a crime case, and he had fits while they were hitting him because of which he was admitted to Kovai Medical Center and Hospital (KMCH). Then, they went to Patteeswaram, picked up my father and took him to Coimbatore,” says Divyapriya.

According to Divyapriya, her father wasn’t allowed to meet her brother till Friday. “He was allowed to meet him on Saturdayand my brother had injuries on his neck. The police told my father that my brother will need a surgery for his injuries. We were ready to take care of his treatment expenses. But instead of waiting, they took my brother from KMCH to Coimbatore Government Hospital and he died. I feel he would have died when he was in KMC, just to protect themselves, police brought him to the government hospital and dumped him here,” says Divyapriya.

Dineshkumar died on Sunday early morning. “My brother did not have any health issues. If it was an accident, we would have believed that he got injured, but how did he get injuries on his neck due to fits? Police did not even inform us that he died. We came to the hospital on Sunday to take him back home,” says Divyapriya.

Muthu, Divyapriya’s husband said that they were handed over Dineshkumar’s body on Sunday morning around 6AM. “Dineshkumar was shifted to the government hospital without even taking permission from us. They admitted him around 9:30PM, and by 1AM, he was dead. He must have been in such a bad state that he did not even survive longer. We have not yet received the post-mortem report, but his neck bone was broken, his head was bleeding and his left-hand shoulder and the left-side of his neck had injuries,” he said.

Advocate Panneerselvam, who is handling Dineshkumar’s case, told TNM that they have sent petitions to the SC/ST Commission, Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary, Chief Minister and State Human Rights Commission regarding the custodial death of Dineshkumar. “We still do not know if any FIR was filed against Dineshkumar. Police told that a theft case was filed against him. We are enquiring what exactly happened. I have sent a person to Tirupur to get more details about the case,” said Panneerselvam.  

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