Chennai: In another incident that has shocked the police, a 46-year-old labourer who was brought for questioning in connection with a theft case, set himself ablaze in the Kanathur police station. His family alleges foul play in his death after the man succumbed to injuries in a hospital on Monday morning.
Police said Humayun (46) of Third Cross Street, Jay Nagar, Panaiyur had gone to fix mosquito nets on the windows of the house of Geetha (29) of Kanathur on Sunday morning. He was accompanied by Shoukath Ali. After they left the house, the woman found her gold earring of 4.5 sovereigns missing, police said. She lodged a complaint with the Kanathur police, alleging that it could have been taken by the two men.
Police sources said both the men were brought to the station for questioning and Shoukath Ali was allowed to leave by around 9 pm. Humayun was made to stay back at the station as police were suspicious. According to police sources, two policemen - including a sub-inspector and a constable - were at the station where Humayun was made to sit. The other policemen were away. A few minutes past midnight, the sub-inspector got out of the station to conduct a vehicle check on the other side of the road and called to the constable to bring a notebook he had left in the station.
When the constable exited the station, Humayun, who was left alone, grabbed a can of kerosene kept at the station and emptied it on himself. Humayun then ran out of the police station and, to the horror of the policemen, set himself on fire on the road, police said. He was rushed to Kilpauk Medical Hospital where he succumbed to injuries on Monday morning. Police said the kerosene can was a property seized during a suicide case reported last month.
Waiting for her husbands body after post mortem, Humayuns wife Yasmin (34) told Express that she suspected foul play in her husbands death. She alleged that a policeman came to her house on Monday morning and told her that Humayun had set himself on fire and was admitted to hospital.
I came to the hospital and saw my husband lying still on the bed. A few minutes later, doctors checked and said he was no more. I saw him leave home at 7 am on Sunday and all I saw after that was his body, cried Yasmin. She claimed that her husband was not the type that would utter a lie or steal valuables. No matter where he goes, he would definitely return for morning prayers at 6. But on Monday he didnt. Only the policeman came home, she wept.
The woman also claimed that she was never informed by the police that her husband had been detained in the police station for questioning. They seized his mobile phone and I didnt know where my husband was. His friend, who went along with him to install the mosquito net, did not inform us. He went home from the police station and accompanied us in the morning only to the hospital, she claimed.
The couple have three children " Abu Hurera (17), Rabia Basiria (16) and Mubarak Nisha (12). Yasmin made a meagre amount by working as a housemaid. My son just started working in a welding shop. The children have lost their father. We have no one to help us. I need justice, she said.
Police said a judicial inquiry by judicial magistrate, Tambaram would be undertaken. There were suspicions on the complainant, which was why he was detained for questioning, said R Sudhakar, Deputy Commissioner, Adyar.