Police Commissioner directs DCP (South) to submit an initial report on Sunday
The situation in Lakshmipura, near Gavipuram, got out of hand after family members and friends of Pradeep (27), who committed suicide by hanging himself on Saturday, refused to let in a sub-inspector to take his body for the post-mortem.
Pradeep, a cab driver, was taken into custody by the K.G. Nagar police on Wednesday, following a complaint by his tenant, Muthuswamy. Upset about the alleged custodial torture, Pradeep who was let off late on Friday committed suicide.
Furious relatives and friends alleged that the K.G. Nagar police had a vested interest in hushing up the case. This led to a clash between them and the police, which quickly escalated. The angry mob set fire to a police vehicle (Cheetah) and assaulted a constable, which led the police to resort to a lathi-charge. Some police personnel even brandished their firearms and threatened to fire at the protesters.
Inspector C.D. Nagaraj was captured by an electronic media channel roaming the streets of Lakshmipura with his revolver drawn. Bhargav, Pradeep’s employer, charged that Nagaraj even threatened to fire at the protesters.
The police said that four police personnel were injured in the clash. They have been admitted to Victoria Hospital.
M.N. Reddi, Police Commissioner, told The Hindu that he had directed the Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) to submit an initial report on Sunday. “I will act within 24 hours based on the report,” he said.
Police sources said that Muthuswamy had complained about an inebriated Pradeep loudly knocking on his door, based on which he was taken into custody on Wednesday. His relatives alleged that the police “tortured” him in custody before letting him off.
Mr. Bhargav said that the police had claimed Pradeep misbehaved with Muthuswamy and his wife. “This is not true. I requested the police repeatedly to let him off, but they refused. When the police informed me that Muthuswamy wanted his advance of Rs. 70,000 back as he wanted to vacate the house, we arranged for the same. However, later the inspector sought money for ‘settling’ the issue between Muthuswamy and Pradeep,” he alleged.
He claimed that Pradeep was beaten black and blue by the police. “He had marks all over his body. Unable to bear the consequences, Pradeep committed suicide,” he alleged.