A history-sheeter died in police custody in Chennai on Sunday, the second such incident in Tamil Nadu’s capital in less than two months. A senior police officer said the investigation in the case would be transferred to the Crime Branch-CID.
The police, however, claimed there was no ‘custodial’ excesses on their part.
According to sources, a special team from the Kodungaiyur police station in north Chennai had picked up S. Rajasekar, alias Appu, 33, a resident of Mundhiri Thoppu near Alamathi in neighbouring Tiruvallur district, for an investigation into a crime that took place in their jurisdiction. The police claimed Rajasekar, who faced 27 criminal cases including those of house break-ins, robbery, theft and attempt to murder, had a history sheet opened in his name at the Sholavaram police station, and he was a suspect in the Kodungaiyur case.
The police claimed that Rajasekar confessed to his role in the latest crime and he was also questioned for recovering the stolen properties.
According to the police, he had disclosed everything and was kept in a police outpost when he complained of uneasiness and fainted. “Our personnel immediately took him to a nearby private hospital where he was given medicines and administered injection following which he recovered. Thereafter, he was brought back to the outpost, but again he developed health complications, and was rushed to the Government Stanley Hospital where he was declared ‘brought dead’,” a police officer said.
"Our preliminary investigation revealed there was no excess on the part of the police personnel who handled him. There was no injury on the body of the deceased," said the officer.
City police commissioner Shankar Jiwal ordered a probe, and a case was registered under Section 176 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Since the suspect had died in police custody, a magisterial probe would follow.
In April, V. Vignesh, 25, who was detained on the charge of possessing drugs, died at the Secretariat Colony police station after he was allegedly beaten up by police personnel. The case is being investigated by the CB-CID.