Tripunithura: The Crime Branch on Sunday said they will investigate the death of 53-year-old Manoharan of Irumpanam, who was taken into custody by the Hill Palace police on Saturday night. The station's SI Jimmy, who allegedly slapped Manoharan, was suspended on Sunday morning, reported Manorama News.
The inquest procedures in his death have started at Kalamassery Medical College in Ernakulam.
While the police claim that he collapsed at the station around 9 pm, local residents said cops beat him brutally before taking him to the station, reported Manorama News.
Manoharan's relatives and neighbours have raised their suspicion over the death. The police apparently took Manoharan into custody for not stopping the two-wheeler he was riding after he was pulled over. Later, he was taken to the Hill Palace Station. The police claim that Manoharan collapsed shortly after he reached the station. He was immediately taken to the Thripunithura Taluk Hospital but when his condition worsened, he was taken to a private hospital in Kochi. He was declared dead at the hospital.
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.
Meanwhile, the Hill Palace police have claimed that Manoharan collapsed in front of his friends and acquaintances who had arrived at the police station.
The CCTV footage of the incident makes it all clear, the police argue.
'Cop slapped Manoharan as soon as he took off helmet'
An eyewitness said that the cop who stopped Manoharan slapped him as soon as he took off his helmet. Homemaker Ramadevi, who saw the incident, told Manorama News, "The cop stopped him and asked why he didn't stop the vehicle. When Manoharan said that he got scared and removed the helmet, the cop slapped across his face. Soonafter, he started shivering and the cop pushed him into the police jeep." The local people blocked the police station on Sunday morning.