Child abuser beaten to death in Arthur road jail?
While prison officials brought 53-year-old undertrial inmate to JJ Hospital with a 'fever', the autopsy shows blunt abdominal trauma and internal bleeding, resulting in an unnatural death
The death of a 53-year-old undertrial in a POCSO case lodged at Arthur Road jail has once again raised questions about inmates' security at the overcrowded prison. On Wednesday evening, JJ Hospital doctors declared the accused Suryakant Sarang 'brought dead' and an autopsy revealed blunt force trauma to the abdomen, indicating assault. The police had taken Suryakant Sarang to JJ Hospital with a fever. However, he was declared dead before admission. A doctor at the hospital said, "As the death was before admission, we had to treat it as a medico legal case and accordingly, the police were intimated and body sent for a postmortem."
A doctor at the hospital said, "He had no pulse when he was brought to the hospital and we declared him dead." As it was a death in judicial custody, the police registered the case under the Criminal Procedure Code and the inquest panchnama was conducted by a magistrate. A videographer and other protocol was followed including an autopsy team formed by forensic surgeons attached to department of forensic medicine and toxicology, Grant Medical College.
'Autopsy findings surprise everyone'
Hospital sources told mid-day on condition of anonymity that the deceased had no physical injuries during a physical examination, but during an internal examination, the surgeons found blunt abdominal trauma and also collection of blood in the peritoneal (abdominal) cavity. The provisional cause of death was given as death due to blunt abdominal trauma, with Hemoperitoneum (presence of blood in the peritoneal cavity). The report on final cause of death will be submitted once the viscera and histopathology reports are received.
A doctor added, "The presence of abdominal trauma itself establishes that it is not a natural death and we have already given the cause of death stating the same. The police will have to go to the bottom of the case to investigate what happened behind the four walls of the jail." Senior Inspector Pandit Thorat, of NM Joshi Marg police station, said, "I will have to discuss the matter with the investigating police officer concerned on the autopsy findings and once I go through the papers, the case will be investigated and appropriate sections of IPC will be levied depending on the preliminary findings."
Arthur Road jail staff, when contacted, stated that they were not authorised to speak to the media and being a public holiday their superiors, too, were not in office. When contacted, DGP (prison) Surendra Pandey said he was busy and directed mid-day to get in touch with his subordinate officers.
Day Suryakant Sarang was lodged in Arthur Rd jail
Day Sarang was arrested by Wadala police
Age of the child Sarang had allegedly abused
Who was Sarang?
Preliminary inquires revealed that Sarang was arrested by the Wadala police station for allegedly raping a minor. He was lodged at Arthur Road jail since February 8, 2019 after his police remand got over. Sarang was arrested under section 376 of IPC and various sections of the POSCO Act for sexually abusing a 13-year-old girl, who was related to him. The child was allegedly abused for over a year by Sarang in a public toilet and on January 30, he was caught red-handed by local residents. Sarang was immediately arrested by the Wadala police. Assistant Police Inspector H Kamble of Wadala police station said, "The minor told the police that an associate of Sarang, Sunil Patil, 51, had also started sexually abusing her after Sarang informed him about his sexual relations with the child." "On the basis of the statement and medical reports from KEM hospital which confirmed rape, we arrested both the accused and sent them to Arthur Road jail. We have already submitted the charge sheet in the case but the trial is yet to begin" said Kamble, who was intimated by NM Joshi police about Sarang's death.
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