CPI alleges police torture; autopsy report says heart attack

A 45-year-old undertrial died at the taluk hospital in Neyyattinkara late on Friday. The police identified him as Thankamani, a resident of Chenkal near Parassala.

Deputy Superintendent of Police, Neyyattinkara, P. Gopakumar said the Parassala police had arrested him on Thursday night. Thankamani, a fortune-teller, had cheated lakhs of rupees from many in the locality, promising to find them buried treasures. Some had filed cheating complaints against him.

According to the police, Thankamani was produced before a local magistrate at 5 p.m. on Friday and remanded in judicial custody. Around 9.15 p.m., Thankamani complained of chest pain and was rushed to the hospital where he died. Forensic doctors autopsied the body and concluded, preliminarily, that he had died of heart attack. The procedure was video-graphed and conducted in the presence of the Revenue Divisional Officer and local tahsildar. Mr. Gopakumar said the police did not torture Thankamani in custody.

CPI claim

Several organisations, notably the Communist Party of India, have disputed the claim of the police. CPI's local secretary Venjaranmoodu Sasi said that Thankamani was an amputee and marks on his body indicated that the police had tortured him in custody.

The CPI has asked the government to compensate the relatives of the victim and to bring to book the perpetrators of the crime.