Tiruchy, Chennai: Days after the suspension of three policemen in Tiruchy over a custodial death, the relatives of a dead driver has accused the Tambaram Police of custodial torture. The man had died reportedly hours after being released from the station.

According to sources, Sunderarajan (48), of Irumbuliyur, was a driver at a private college near Tambaram. On Monday night, he was picked up by a patrol car on a complaint after he pelted stones at a private showroom. The man, who was drunk, had gone to sleep in front of a tyre showroom in the city. The staff of the showroom, who was out on dinner when he settled down, tried to get him to leave. The man, irked at being shooed away, began pelting stones at the showroom and shattered one of the display windows. The staff then called the Tambaram police, which sent a team to investigate.

The man was picked up and released later in the night when his family members arrived at the station. He was asked to promise in writing to not repeat his behaviour and the police officials of the station insist that he was not attacked at the station. On Tuesday morning, Sounderarajan's wife raised an alarm when she couldn't wake him. He was taken to a nearby private hospital, where he was declared brought dead.

The relatives of the deceased then began strife with the policeman, insisting that he was attacked at the station. They also pointed to some injuries he had on his leg as proof for this and surmised that the physical attack combined with the mental trauma of being harassed had set on the death. They also claimed that Sunderarajan was a healthy man with no previous cardiac ailments.

In Tiruchy, three policemen including a sub-inspector were suspended on Saturday after a burglary suspect they had picked up died in custody. The man complained of chest pain and collapsed during nonviolent inquiries, according to the police. The police had detained R Murugan (55), of EB Road, for inquiry about a heist of one kg gold from a bus after diverting it, in November. The man was a known regular offender named in several cases that happened in and around Tiruchy. The team which was investigating the gold heist reportedly picked up from a lodge in Samayapuram. He was taken to the police station, where during inquiries, he complained of chest pain and collapsed. He was rushed to a government hospital nearby, where he was declared brought dead. The doctors reportedly stated that he had died of a cardiac arrest. It is unclear if the police had picked up Murugan on suspicion or on solid proof. They reportedly recovered 16 sovereigns of gold from the deceased.