Tripunithura: The autopsy report on Manoharan (53), a native of Irumpanam farmers' colony, who died in police custody, has ruled out custodial torture.
The report that states Manoharan died of a heart attack, is a relief to the Tripunithura Hill Palace Police, where the death took place. According to the report, the deceased had symptoms of heart attack.
Manoharan had collapsed and breathed his last inside the police station on Saturday night, hours after he had been taken into custody during a vehicle inspection near the Irumpanam bridge.
The police apparently took Manoharan into custody for not stopping the two-wheeler he was riding after he was pulled over.
The police claimed that Manoharan collapsed shortly after he reached the station. He was immediately taken to the Tripunithura Taluk Hospital but when his condition worsened, he was taken to a private hospital in Kochi. He was declared dead at the hospital.
Meanwhile, it is alleged that police forcefully took him into custody even after the breath analyser showed he didn't consume alcohol. Alleging custodial death, natives and Youth Congress activists laid a siege at the Hill Palace police station.
The SI who reportedly slapped Manoharan has been suspended from service after protests intensified over the death.
According to his relatives and onlookers, Manoharan stopped his vehicle a little farther after the police signalled him. Eyewitnesses said an officer, who was standing near the police jeep, came running towards Manoharan and slapped his face as soon as he removed his helmet. He was assaulted even as he was asked, “Can’t you stop the vehicle when you are told to do so”. The charge is that policemen assaulted him later in the jeep too. Though the police initially claimed they did not assault Manoharan, the SI later confessed that he indeed slapped him.