Hyderabad: A 30-year-old Dalit man who had been arrested by the police for questioning in connection with a suspected theft case died in police custody at the Tukaramgate police station from severe head injuries, amid allegations from the victim’s family that they were offered money to cover up the matter.

Chiranjeevi A., an auto driver and a resident of Balapur, was allegedly taken from his home at around 6 p.m. on Tuesday evening to be questioned about a theft case under the jurisdiction of the Tukaramgate police, but the auto driver died at around 8 p.m. that same day after allegedly being physically assaulted by the police.

Chiranjeevi’s 28-year-old wife A. Manjula, who was sobbing while clasping his two-year-old son on her shoulder at the Gandhi mortuary, alleged that five plainclothes officers entered at their Balapur house and picked up her husband on Tuesday, telling her they would leave him in half an hour.

“I wanted to accompany my husband when he was picked up by the police, but they said he’d be sent home in half an hour and instead gave me a phone number to call my husband. Later, I found that the number they gave me was incorrect,” Manjula explained. However, at around 6 a.m. on Wednesday, the police called Manjula and informed her that Chiranjeevi had died as a result of convulsions and asked her to come to the North Zone DCP office to see the body. When family members and relatives gathered at the North Zone DCP office to question how a healthy man died within hours of being taken into custody by the police, the officers allegedly offered an amount to bury the issue in order to prevent the family from staging a protest or filing a case against the police. Later, when the enraged family members protested outside the North Zone DCP office, the police tried to pacify and informed them that the body was kept at the Gandhi Hospital mortuary…

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