Investigation into the death of a 29-year-old labourer inside the Mankhurd police station revealed that after the deceased was let off by the police, he went to drink water and re-entered the police station and hung himself in a room on the second floor.
The deceased Deepak Jadhav, used a pair of trousers that belonged to a policeman, to hang himself on Tuesday morning. Jadhav was briefly questioned that morning in connection with a milk theft case.
Sangramsinh Nishandar, Deputy Commissioner of Police (zone VI), said, “Jadhav was not detained or arrested, so there is no question of custodial death.” Unit VI of the Crime Branch is probing the death of Jadhav that has been registered as an accidental death with the Mankhurd police and not as a custodial death.
According to officers privy to the investigation, Jadhav was being questioned in the station house of the police station on the first floor and was let off after 30 minutes at around 9 am.
Mankhurd police station occupies the first two storeys of a seven-storey building at Lallubhai compound and Jadhav was seen leaving the premises shortly after 9 am.
“There are no CCTV cameras at the police station. Jadhav exited from the only entrance of the police station and went to the rear of the building to drink water at a general store. He was not seen entering the building again, but was found hanging at around 9.45 am by Sub-Inspector Chintal in room 205, located in the corner of the second floor, that faces the back alley of the building,” said a police officer.
According to Senior Police Inspector Nabi Sheikh, “Jadhav had latched the room from inside and climbed on a desk to hang himself. Chintal had returned from Vashi check post and noticed the door locked. Through the window he saw Jadhav hanging. We have a video recording of how we broke the door open and took Jadhav down. He hung himself with a pair of trousers,” said Sheikh.
Sheikh added that the police were unable to identify Jadhav for nearly an hour as no one knew what he was doing there.
“Since the shifts had changed, the officer who questioned him had gone home and nobody knew why Jadhav was found hanging in a changing room inside the police station. We asked Sub-Inspector Lande to come back to the station to identify Jadhav,” said Sheikh .
According to police records, Jadhav had been arrested twice for theft, once by the Govandi police in 2013 and earlier by Tilak Nagar police in 2005. Police said that Jadhav has a history of mental illness and was addicted to drugs. “I have been told his hands were shaking and he seemed under the influence of drugs. Jadhav had been admitted to Rajawadi Saturday after he suffered fits. He ran away from the hospital Sunday and came back home. Jadhav’s medical reports are pending but when he was found there were no injuries,” Sheikh added.