Bengaluru

Congo national’s death in Bengaluru triggers row

Foreign nationals staging a protest in front of the J.C. Nagar Police station in Bengaluru on Monday.  

A Congo national, who was arrested in a drug case, died allegedly of a cardiac arrest in J.C. Nagar on Monday, leading to outrage among the community.

Following the news of his death, members of an African association gathered in front of the J.C. Nagar police station and staged a protest, demanding a detailed inquiry into the incident. The police had to resort to lathi-charge to disperse the protesters after accusing them of turning violent and attacking the police.

Joel Shindani Malu. At right, police resorting to a lathi-charge to disperse protesters in Bengaluru on Saturday.

Joel Shindani Malu. At right, police resorting to a lathi-charge to disperse protesters in Bengaluru on Saturday.  

 

Many protesters sustained minor injuries and were taken to hospital for treatment.

According to the police, Joel Shindani Malu, 27, from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, complained of a sudden chest pain and was shifted to a nearby hospital.

After administering treatment for almost one hour, he was declared dead owing to a suspected cardiac arrest.

Drug peddling

Earlier, on Sunday night, based on information, a team of police laid a trap to nab Joel, an alleged drug peddler, near Banjara Layout. The police team kept watch and waited till the wee hours of Monday. Due to the sudden presence of police, Joel allegedly changed the location of trade to Babusapalya in Hennur police station limits.

Around 12.30 a.m., two foreign nationals were passing by on a scooter and police informants identified the pillion rider as Joel, following which the police in mufti apprehended him.

In the scuffle, as Joel was trying to flee, a few small plastic packets, containing white substance, fell to the ground. It was later found out to be 5 grams of MDMA, the police said. The other foreign national escaped.

After following due procedure, the police team brought Joel to the police station along with the seized substance and the bike for questioning.

An FIR was registered and he was kept in the station to ascertain his identity, further inquiry, and legal action.

The police said around 5.10 a.m. on Monday, the in-charge station house officer informed that Joel suddenly started complaining of chest pain. He was shifted to a nearby private hospital for treatment at around 5.30 a.m. On preliminary medical examination, he was diagnosed with bradycardia and administered several rounds of CPR and other interventions.

Foreign nationals staging a protest in front of the J.C. Nagar Police station in Bengaluru on Monday.

Foreign nationals staging a protest in front of the J.C. Nagar Police station in Bengaluru on Monday.  

 

Around 6.45 a.m., he was declared dead owing to suspected cardiac arrest, the police added.

In the absence of any verification regarding the identity of the deceased, Bosco, president of the Pan African Federation, was informed about the incident. On further inquiry, it was found that Joel was a national of Democratic Republic of the Congo . Available information suggests that his student visa expired in July 2015 and his passport expired in December 2017, the police added.

“A case of unnatural death has been registered and investigation is being conducted as per guidelines of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC),” Dharmendra Kumar Meena, DCP, north division, said .

‘Custodial death’

“We have considered this as a custodial death and informed the agencies concerned while ordering for a detailed probe,” Kamal Pant, City Police Commissioner, said.

The CID has taken over the case.

However, the African association countered police claims and said that Joel was pursuing BBA and was at a birthday party at his friend’s house in Hennur, when the police raided the place, and picked him up .

Incidentally, this May a 38-year-old Nigerian national Peter Ofor was found dead in a canal of Kalkere lake in Ramamurthynagar police limits. The association had protested his death seeking detailed inquiry.

A few members of the association alleged that Ofor, who had come to India on a business visa and lived with his family in Banjara Layout, was last seen being chased by a group of men presumed to be police in mufti.

Responding to the incident, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, speaking to reporters in New Delhi, said the State has been conducting a drive against drugs since the last two years and arrests have been made in the course. “Many have been found to be overstaying. In this case, the crowd had turned violent and the police countered it. Inquiry is on,” he said.


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Printable version | Sep 20, 2021 8:25:15 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/foreign-national-caught-in-drug-case-dies-of-cardiac-arrest-association-cries-foul/article35685467.ece

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