Woman dies in police custody
Her relatives allege that police took her to the station despite knowing that she was unwell
A woman who was detained in connection with a theft case by the Asifnagar police on Saturday died under suspicious circumstances, hours after being shifted to a hospital from the police station. Her family members alleged that she died due to highhandedness of the police.
A labourer, D. Padma (36), of Bojjagutta in Asifnagar was brought to the police station by the crime team of the Asifnagar police on the charge of possessing a stolen bag. The bag was allegedly stolen by Padma’s acquaintance Manjula and Lakshmi from a housewife, Deepika, when she had gone to a hospital. The bag containing gold and silver ornaments and important documents was later passed on to Padma, it was alleged. .
Based on the footage obtained from closed circuit cameras installed at the hospital, the police picked up Manjula and her accomplice Lakshmi.
“On questioning, they told that they handed over the bag to Padma asking her to keep it safe. While the police recovered the bag from Padma’s house, there was no trace of jewellery weighing around three tolas worth Rs. 1 lakh,” In-charge DCP (West) V. Satyanarayana said.
Padma was taken to the police station in the afternoon and at around 9.30 p.m., she collapsed on the floor while being questioned.
“She was rushed to a private hospital and later shifted to Osmania General Hospital. But she died in the early hours of Sunday,” the official said.
Padma’s relatives and local leaders charged that the police took her to the station despite knowing that she was not keeping well.
“Police behaved in a highhanded manner resulting in deterioration of her health,” former corporator, Mehdipatnam, Bangaru Prakash, told presspersons.
A case under Section 176 of the Code of Criminal Procedure was registered and a post-mortem examination conducted. . “We are conducting an inquiry into the matter and the report will be forwarded to the higher-ups,” Mr. Satyanarayana said.
City Police Commissioner M. Mahender Reddy on Sunday suspended seven policemen, including the Station House Officer of Asifnagar police station, K. Srikanth, for dereliction of duty. In a press release, Mr. Reddy stated that the policemen were placed under suspension in the interest of fair enquiry and investigation for exhibiting gross negligence and dereliction of duty in keeping a woman N. Padma at the station at odd hours which led to severe health complications and her subsequent death.