Custodial death: Victim's kin plans legal recourse against police

Custodial death: Victim's kin plans legal recourse against police

A day after the funeral of Devaraj who died under mysterious circumstances in police custody at Hunsur rural station on Thursday, his estranged family members are pinning hopes on police to do justice to them. Strangely, according to them, the police authorities who were friendly till the funeral ceremony, have turned hostile later.

Pankaja, wife of Devaraj, of Ratnapuri village colony, Hunsur taluk, was seen waiting to meet the police authorities, in front of rural police station on Saturday. She was accompanied by her daughters Manjula and Sowmya and son-in-law Mahadev. Her elder daughter Manjula was married to Mahadev in the month of April.

When contacted SP Abhinav Khare denied any unfriendly treatment to them. As the  case has been handed over to Criminal Investigation Department (CID), a report is awaited from them.

Pankaja said she has also requested the police to release her mother-in-law Chikkamma, who is currently in jail. A senior police official had assured her in this regard. But the situation had completely changed on Saturday. The police have made a volte-face,  trying to distance self from the case, Pankaja alleged.

According to a section of media, a senior police official has told a compensation of Rs one lakh has been given to deceased’s family, that was denied by Pankaja. Following this, Pankaja has decided to hire a lawyer for legal recourse.

Reacting to this, on a particular query by Deccan Herald, SP Abhinav Khare said ‘As per law, it is only assistant commissioner of Hunsur sub-division can decide on the compensation.

The officer has to decide as to whom the compensation should be awarded, as the deceased person was staying with his mother.

Last rites performed

The last rites of Devaraj was  performed amid heavy police bandobust at the burial ground in the village on Friday night around 11 pm. To avoid further delay fearing , the police had arranged for a earth moving machine to dig the burial pit.

Prior to that body was kept in the middle of the main road and also at burial ground for sometime, to enable family and relatives to pay their last respects. Chikkamma mother of Devaraj who was permitted by court to attend her son’s funeral, received the body after post-mortem at mortuary attached to Mysore Medical College and Research Institute (MMC&RI) in Mysuru.

Case history

Hunsur rural police had taken both Devaraj and his mother Chikkamma to their custody on Thursday, after the duo attacked two police constables attached to same station. The constables had gone to their house to serve a n on-bailable warrant, following a maintenance suit filed by Devaraj’s wife Pankaja.

The couple married for 20 years, had been living separately from the past 13 years. While Chikkamma was arrested and remanded to judicial custody, Devaraj was still  being interrogated when he died allegedly in a suspicious manner.

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