By Ashraf Padanna/Thiruvananthapuram
The Kerala police have begun a probe into the ‘unnatural death’ of a Bihari youth charged with attempt to murder Mata Amritandamayi Devi, the hugging saint who has millions of devotees across the world.
Mystery over the death of 23-year old Satnam Singh Mann from Gaya in Bihar lodged at the Peroorkada mental health centre here continues.
Relatives of Satnam, who was arrested by the police four days ago after he advanced menacingly towards Matha Amrithananda Mayi in Vallikavu, allege he was beaten up while in custody. Police denied the allegation.
The postmortem of the body would be conducted at the medical college hospital here on Monday. During the inquest, several bruises were found on the body, said Satnam’s cousin Vimal Kishore. It is known, however, that a scuffle, or more, had taken place between Satnam and another patient(s) at the mental health centre on Saturday.
In Vallikavu, the Matha Amrithanandamayi Mutt organised a special prayer session condoling the death of Satnam. Mutt vice-chairman Amritha Swaroopanananda said that the Mutt was shocked at the incidents. “The mutt joins the family in their grief,” he said.
District collector in-charge P.K. Girija started a preliminary inquiry, while the Peroorkada police registered a case of unnatural death.Satnam’s father, Harendra Kumar Singh, is expected here by Monday.
Satnam’s other relatives who have reached here confirmed to the police that he was earlier under treatment for depression and was missing from his home since May.
Satnam was arrested on August 1 when he angrily pushed his way in the direction of Mata Amritanandamayi during her darshan programme. He was remanded to judicial custody on August 2 and sent to the Kollam district jail.
Prison superintendent Vinod Kumar said that during the late hour of August 2, Satnam took cleaning lotion kept at the toilet in the prison and poured it on eight other prisoners in his cell. As he behaved strangely, he was taken to the Kollam district hospital. As advised by doctors, he was shifted to the mental health centre here.
He was given sedation as he behaved violently.
Hospital sources said Satnam was admitted to the hospital by around 3am on August 3. After he was found to be stable, he was kept in a cell with another patient. However, following a scuffle between the two, they were kept in separate cells. By around 6.30pm on August 4, he was found in a collapsed state in the toilet area of the cell.
Subsequently, he was rushed to the medical college hospital where he died by around 8.15pm.
Satnam, reportedly doing his LLB course at Dr Ram Manohar Lohia National Law University in Lucknow, was reported missing for sometime.
Marks on Satnam’s body shock cousin
The death of Satnam Singh Mann has come as a rude shock to his cousin Vimal Kishore. “I had met him while in police custody the other day. He did not have any physical problem. However, now there are several marks on his body,” said Vimal.
Vimal, who sought a detailed probe into the incident, also said that though he had handed over a pair of clothes to Satnam before being remanded, he was found to be wearing a different dress when he died. “While in the police custody, he was allowed to wear only under garments,” said Vimal who came down to the state after being informed of Satnam’s arrest.
Satnam, son of businessman Harendra Kumar Singh, went missing from Bihar in May. “He was too much into spirituality and was highly informed. Finally he suffered some sort of depression,” recalls Vimal, who works with a national media in New Delhi.
Satnam’s family had even given ‘man missing’ advertisements in the local media in Bihar. Vimal, who was close to Satnam since his childhood, said Satnam was repeatedly telling a couple of words including ‘magnetic field,’ while he met him in police custody.
Satnam has three brothers, two of them studying for engineering and the other doing his CA in Delhi. His sister is in the US.