Man who died in custody had inflicted injury on his forearm the day before

Custody Death | Manarcad Police
Nawas, who died in Manarcad police custody.

Kottayam: A person who was taken into custody by the Manarcad police in Kottayam district was found hanging in the station's washroom on Tuesday morning.

The 27-year-old Nawas, who was to be taken to the court on Tuesday, was found hanging on the window rails in police station toilet.  

The Areeparambu Parapallikunnu colony inhabitant Nawas was taken into protective custody on Monday after his brother registered a complaint with the police on his violent behaviour. He allegedly attacked his wife and mother after consuming alcohol. Nawas had already inflicted a wound on his forearm when he was taken into custody.

After taking him into custody, Nawas was tested positive for alcohol at the Kottayam Medical College at 12 am on Tuesday. He was thereafter, brought back to the station since no other anomalies were detected.

Nawas had requested permission to use the toilet facilities moments before he was to be taken to court. He was found hanging in the toilet later. Though alive at the time of discovery, he died on the way to the hospital.

The Manarcad police station custody is under 24 hour observation. All the 14 policemen in the station were at the SI's room for a meeting when the incident occurred.

The Special Branch DySP will investigate the involvement of the police in the death. The incident occurred at 9 am, a few minutes before he had to accompany the cops to the court in Kottayam town.

The Kerala Police Chief Loknath Behera has promised stringent action against those responsible. He has given instructions to the Ernakulam Range IG and Kottayam District Chief to this effect.

A magistrate-level-investigation will be conducted as per the norms issued by the National Human Rights Commission and Supreme Court.

Custody deaths were to be strictly avoided by the police as a policy, Behera added.

Custody hanging in Manarcad
CCTV footage of Manarcad police station: 1-Nawas in protective police custody 2-Nawas goes to the washroom 3-Nawas is being taken to the hospital from washroom

Top officials are camping at the site of the incident.

Manarcad is about 7 km east of Kottayam town. Nawas is survived by his wife Antu and daughter Aradhika.  

Notorious force

A report by the DGP, released last year, had stated that 387 police officers in Kerala are accused in criminal cases. From child abuse to theft, Kerala's policemen have been accused of all kinds of crimes.

About 60 officers have been suspended in the state for a variety of offences including custodial torture, bribery and boozing on official duty, as per last year's statistics.

Last year, the Kottayam district police chief himself had faced disciplinary action for dereliction of duty. Superintendent of police Muhammed Rafeek was transferred out of the district after he faced allegations that he did not expedite a probe into the kidnapping of Kevin P Joseph, who was found dead the next day on May 28. Gandhinagar sub-inspector M S Shibu and additional sub inspector Sunny Mon were suspended for sitting on a complaint by Joseph’s fiancee Neenu. What's more, Gandhinagar additional sub-inspector T M Biju and civil police officer T M Biju and civil police officer M N Ajaya Kumar have been arrested for taking a bribe from the gang which abducted Kevin, whose murder trial is now on in Kottayam.

Most of cops who faced disciplinary action have returned to work after the customary off days.

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