Dalit's death after police torture alleged
CUDDAPAH, AUG. 31. A 48-year-old Dalit of Chilekampalle Harijanawada in Chakrayapet mandal, Thummaluru Sundaram, who was interrogated by the police on suspicion that he possessed an illicit firearm and was released on Tuesday night, died in Vempalle hospital in the early hours of Thursday.
Alleging that Sundaram died due to police torture, an irate mob of villagers, led by Sundaram's widow, Suseelamma, Congress leaders - Mr. Gadikota Mohan Reddy and Mr. Karnati Narayana - and Bharatiya Janata Party leader, Mr. Desai Mavi Reddy, staged a three-and-a-half-hour dharna before the Chakrayapet police station. Speaking on the occasion, Mrs. Suseelamma alleged that the Lakkireddipalle Circle Inspector, Mr. K.A. Rawoof, and ID party police took Sundaram for interrogation 10 days ago, brutally tortured him demanding him to produce a firearm, and sent him away on Tuesday night.
Sundaram, who returned home, narrated the way he was tortured, and expressed fears that he may not survive, Mrs. Suseelamma alleged. She said he was taken to a primary health centre at Surabhi on Wednesday, with wounds on his body. Doctors referred him to Vempalle Government hospital stating that he sustained severe injuries, she stated. Sundaram succumbed to the wounds around 4 a.m. on Thursday in Vempalle Government hospital, she said amidst tears.
Meanwhile, the Pulivendula Assistant SP, Dr. Sajjanar, rushed to Chakrayapet, pacified the agitators and assured an enquiry and stern action if the policemen were guilty. Later, Mrs. Suseelamma and others took Sundaram's body to the Lakkireddipalle magistrate and urged him to intervene and ensure registering of a case against the policemen who tortured her husband.
When contacted, the Superintendent of Police, Mr. Govind Singh, told TheHindu that Sundaram was picked up by the police on suspicion that he possessed an illegal firearm, but he produced a toy pistol. He was sent away on Tuesday night when he developed fever. After reaching home, he complained of chest pain but consumed alcohol, which was brought by his wife, Mr. Singh said.
Sundaram consumed cheap liquor excessively, fell down and developed complications, including breathlessness, the SP explained. Then his wife and a Congress leader, Mr. Nagabhushanam Reddy, took him to Surabhi and then to Vempalle Government hospital, where he died, he said.
The SP denied that the police had tortured Sundaram.