Old man's death angers neighbours

Staff Reporter

TAMBARAM: The death of T.K. Jayaraman, a 70-year-old man, outside a police officer's room on Friday has angered his neighbours in Adambakkam. Jayaraman had gone there to know the whereabouts of his son, who was picked up by the police in the early hours the same day.

J. Ramesh, working for a distributor of a leading mobile handset maker, was taken for interrogation from his house in Vel Nagar, Adambakkam, a couple of hours before dawn. He returned after 12 hours. Meanwhile, his relatives and neighbours were desperately looking for him.

Assuming that he was taken by local police, his father, assisted by relatives and neighbours went to police stations in the vicinity and the city. Ramesh later told his relatives that he was taken in connection with a case relating to the misuse of a BSNL prepaid card, which he once had and that a special team belonging to the Kancheepuram District's Crime Branch took him to Chengalpattu. When contacted, officers of the Kancheepuram district police said though Ramesh had not committed any offence, he was picked up for an enquiry.Asked why nobody was informed about where Ramesh was taken to, the officers said policemen had told the his relatives that they were taking him to Chengalpattu, a claim the relatives deny.

The officials were unable to explain why the officers took away Ramesh's mobile phone, denying him the right to speak to his relatives.

Allegation of threat

Neighbours said when the police came to Jayaraman's house, they told him that they wanted to enquire with his son about misuse of funds, alleged by his employer. "They took Jayaraman inside the police vehicle and spoke to him for half an hour. He appeared shattered when he came out of the van," they said, adding it was the police who forced Jayaraman to lie to his son over the mobile phone that his mother was serious. The police even threatened Jayaraman's house owners not to switch on the light and asked them to stay inside their house. Neighbours and relatives said Jayaraman had sustained a heart attack about a decade ago. "He missed his breakfast and went from one police station to the other," they said.

What was shocking was the manner in which the policemen left the place after dropping Ramesh near his house.