A 29-year-old man was found hanging inside the changing room of the Mankhurd police station on Tuesday morning, after he was taken there by a milkman who suspected he was a thief.
The crime branch is investigating to find out the sequence of events that led to the death of Deepak Anand Jadhav, a labourer and a resident of the Sanjay Nagar slums in Govandi.
A police officer said Jadhav was brought to the police station by one Mohammed Naeem, 27, who sells milk on his bicycle.
“On Tuesday morning, Naeem said Jadhav was watching his bicycle in a suspicious manner, after which the two got into an altercation. Naeem suspected Jadhav was a thief because there have been several cycle thefts in the area. He decided to take Jadhav to the police station,” said a police officer.
“Naeem brought Jadhav in around 7.30am. A police sub inspector (PSI) questioned Jadhav, after which he was let off around 8am,” the officer said.
But, around 9.45am, when another PSI went to room No. 205 on the second floor of the police station building, he spotted a man hanging from the ceiling fan, using a police uniform pant. The policemen used the room to change their clothes.
The police station in-charge and senior police officers of the region were informed.
The Panchnama of the spot was done in the presence of tehsildar Sunil Jadhav – a practice followed during cases of deaths inside police lock-ups and jails.
According to police sources, before Jadhav was an alcoholic, and before he was brought to the Mankhurd police station, he had run away from a government hospital, where he was being treated.
“He ran away from the hospital, and got into the altercation with Naeem. Jadhav does not have a criminal record,” said another high-ranking officer of the region. So far, no action has been taken against policemen at the Mankhud police station, the officer said.
The crime branch will record statements, as it is a case of custodial death. “It is a case of hanging. We are investigating further in it,” said Dhananjay Kulkarni, deputy commissioner of police, (detection).