Man detained by people for ‘stealing’ utensils dies – Reuters
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A 50-year-old man who was arrested by local residents after allegedly stealing cooking utensils from a house in Perunguzhi near Chirayinkeezhu died on Friday while undergoing treatment at the medical college hospital of Thiruvananthapuram. Chandran, a resident of Vengode, was caught “stealing” on May 29, a policeman said. The incident evoked memories of the lynching of a tribal youth, Madhu, by a mob who accused him of theft in Attappady in Palakkad in 2018.
Chandran’s family members claimed local residents beat him before handing him over to Chirayinkeezhu police. Officers at the scene said Chandran did not inform them of any physical assault, although he mentioned stomach pains. He was released on bail because the owner of the house refused to press charges, an officer said.
Chandran’s relative, Sasikala, with whom he was staying before he was transferred to The Children’s, alleged that the assault from local residents complicated his already delicate health. On May 31, Chandran complained of stomach aches and was taken to the primary health center near Vengode. Despite doctor’s advice, he did not come to the Children’s for further treatment, the agent said.
The family admitted Chandran to The Children’s on Thursday after his condition worsened. Doctors diagnosed a bulge in his intestine and he was operated on. But his condition continued to worsen. While Chandran was hospitalized from Sasikala’s house, which was within the boundaries of Attingal Police Station, officers from Attingal Police conducted the investigation.
Based on Sasikala’s complaint, they recorded a case of unnatural death. Station officer Prathapa Chandran said the inquest was conducted in the presence of the divisional revenue officer and no external injuries were spotted on the body. He said the doctor who performed the autopsy said no evidence was found to suggest Chandran died from injuries resulting from an assault.
“There were no bruises on the body. If he had suffered an internal injury, as the family claims, he would have died of internal bleeding shortly after the incident. Furthermore, the family has not not raise such an allegation until his death,” the SHO said. Chandran had an ulcer and underwent surgery 15 years ago, it added.