Probe into death of man at Royapettah de-addiction center begins

Preliminary investigation has revealed that he was physically tortured, say police

Preliminary investigation has revealed that he was physically tortured, say police

The family of a 45-year-old autorickshaw driver have complained that he was physically tortured to death at a de-addition center in Royapettah, the police said. Investigation into the issue is on.

The police identified the victim as M. Raji, an autorickshaw driver, who lived with his wife Kala and two children on Ambedkar Street, Royapettah. Since he was an alcohol addict, he had frequent quarrels with his wife and family members. The family had admitted him at Madras Care Centre, a registered de-addiction facility, a few months ago, and he had undergone de-addiction treatment. After his stint at the centre, he remained sober for a while before eventually relapsing.

On Monday, his wife informed the staff of the center that her husband was lying on a platform near her house. A senior police officer said, “Three persons employed by the center came to the spot and took him back in a van. On reaching the centre, Raji was shouting at the staff. He was handled by the staff and inmates in an unprofessional manner. The preliminary investigation has disclosed that he was physically tortured.”

He was taken to the Government Royapettah Hospital and admitted with grievous injuries. He succumbed to them without responding to treatment. His family members defeated the Anna Salai police station and demanded criminal action against those responsible for his death.

Deputy Commissioner of Police, Triplicane P. Pakalavan and Assistant Commissioner of Police, Triplicane, MS Baskar held a preliminary inquiry.

Following a complaint, the Anna Salai police station registered a case against eight persons, including Karthikeyan, 32, who has been the administrator of the center and other staff under Section 302 (Punishment for murder) of the Indian Penal Code. Seven of them were arrested, and the police launched a search for Karthikeyan, who is on the run.

Meanwhile, 16 inmates from the center were shifted to the Institute of Mental Health.

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