Four policemen have been placed under suspension for the death of a man in police custody in the early hours of Monday in Chennai.

Police, however, said that the 37-year-old died following cardiac arrest.

A magisterial inquiry has been ordered into the incident.

According to police sources, Ashok Das of Bujjiammal Street in New Washermanpet, was involved in 18 cases, including theft, waylaying and robbery in T. Nagar, Ashok Nagar, and other parts of the city.

He was detained under the Goondas Act in 2012.

Modus operandi

Das would fall before a moving vehicle and demand medical help from the driver.

He would then take the driver to an isolated location, assault and rob the person.

An Ashok Nagar police team, including two Sub-Inspectors and two constables, picked up Das from his residence early on Monday. He was brought to a police station in the T. Nagar police district for questioning.

“During interrogation, Das identified his accomplice as a man from the Tambaram area. A few hours later, when he was being taken to the area, he complained of chest pain and died on the way to hospital,” said a senior officer.

Das’s body was taken to the Government Royapettah Hospital for a post-mortem, which is scheduled for Tuesday after an investigation by a Tambaram magistrate.