Ramkumar ‘suicide’ in prison: State Human Rights Commission directs officials to appear

Officials, including the Superintendent of Prison Senthamaraikannan, have been asked to appear before the Commission on September 30

Published - September 11, 2020 04:02 pm IST - CHENNAI

The State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) has directed six prison department officials to appear before it on September 30, in connection with the alleged suicide of P. Ramkumar , the accused in the murder of Infosys techie Swathi, at the Nungambakkam Railway Station, Chennai, on September 18, 2016.

SHRC acting chairperson D. Jayachandran directed Superintendent of Prison Senthamaraikannan, Deputyy Jailor Udhayakumar, Assistant Jailor Pitchandi, Chief Warder, Sankarraj, Gr.I. Warders Ramraj and Petchimuthu -- all from Central Prison at Puzhal -- to appear before the Commission at 10.30 a.m. on September 30.

The Commission had, in 2016, taken suo motu cognisance of a report published in The Hindu over the incident. According to the report, Ramkumar, allegedly committed suicide by “pulling and biting into a live electric wire” inside the Puzhal Central Prison on September 18, 2016.

Several political leaders, including DMK president M.K. Stalin had alleged foul play in his death and demanded an independent probe into the incident.

The report quoted a prison official and said around 4.30 p.m. on that day, a jail warder heard an unusual sound and rushed to find Ramkumar lying unconscious with a live electric wire in his mouth near the dispensary block. It was “presumed” that he pulled out the live wire from a switchboard and bit it. After switching off the main power, the warder, with the assistance of others, rushed Ramkumar to the prison hospital where first-aid was administered, the report said. Since his pulse was deteriorating, doctors referred him to the Government Royapettah Hospital where Ramkumar was declared “dead on arrival”, the report added.

(Those who require assistance for overcoming suicidal thoughts may contact the State’s health helpline 104 or Sneha’s suicide prevention helpline 044-24640050.)

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