A 36-YEAR-OLD undertrial was found dead in Taloja central jail on Wednesday. Jail authorities said the prisoner hanged himself in the hospital ward.
The deceased was identified as Dinesh Narkar. A police official said he was found dead at 8.30 pm, when guards in charge of the hospital ward were taking over duty for their shift and going to each cell to count the prisoners. The official said the hospital doctor checked Narkar and declared him dead. Senior Inspector Pradip Tidar of Kharghar police station said an accidental death was registered.
Narkar, a resident of Prabhadevi, was arrested earlier this month for an alleged attempt to murder and relevant sections of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act on a complaint filed by his wife.
Police said Narkar had tested positive for the novel coronavirus on July 10, when his swabs were taken before being lodged in jail.
An official said he was later moved to the jail on July 20, after his test reports were negative, but he was in the hospital ward of the jail as he had reported weakness.
When his body was sent for a post-mortem, family members demanded an inquiry into his death and alleged foul play, police said.
Police also said a magistrate conducted an inquest and will submit a report after an inquiry into the custodial death. A judicial inquiry is mandatory in cases of custodial death, as per provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code.
Narkar was earlier named as an accused in the 2007 murder of Shiv Sena corporator Kamlakar Jamsandekar, along with gangster-turned-politician Arun Gawli, but was acquitted in 2012.
This is the second such case at Taloja jail’s hospital ward in three months. On May 27, a 33-year-old undertrial, Balu Gahdsinghe, was found dead in the ward. His Covid-19 test was conducted after his death, and the report was positive. Police had filed an accidental death report. The investigating officer said since the prisoner had tested positive for the virus, a post-mortem could not be conducted.
“His family members did not come forward and his last rites were conducted as per protocol. Medical experts at JJ Hospital also gave us a report based on the inspection of his body since a post-mortem could not take place. The report stated that the death was due to hanging,” said an official from Kharghar police station.
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