Tamil Nadu: In fight over police jurisdiction, 65-year-old woman’s body left unattended at bus stop

Janardhan Koushik
Police delayed removing the body because they were unsure under which jurisdiction to register a case.

In a case of civic apathy, the body of a 65-year-old woman lay unattended for several hours near Pakkam Village in Kanchipuram district of Tamil Nadu. Police delayed removing the body because they were unsure under which jurisdiction to register a case.

The passerby’s at the Paakam village reported about the incident to the Village Administrative Officer (VAO) on Wednesday. The VAO had then informed the nearby police station, the police said.

The Madhuranthakam police who visited the place initially did not remove the body claiming that their jurisdiction ends before the bus stop and said that it was Melmaruvathur police s control area from the bus stop. The body was lying at the bus stop for several hours and the commuters were forced to stand a few meters away from the stop to avoid the sight of the dead body.

Later, the Melmaruvathur police arrived at the stop and even they were unsure of the jurisdiction. The matter was then taken to the Kanchipuram Superintendent of Police who ordered his deputies to clear the body immediately. The Melmaruvathur police acted on it on Thursday and sent the body to Chengalpet government hospital for postmortem.

Speaking to Indian Express.com, Melmaruvathur Sub-Inspector Anbu said, The woman had been roaming in this area for a couple of days. We found a plate, a torn sheet, and a glass tumbler near her. She had several injury marks on her legs; she might be a diabetes patient as her legs were swollen badly. We are investigating how this woman came to this area; whether she was abandoned by her family or has she ran away from home, we are looking at all those pieces of information. We have circulated her photo in nearby areas to find any clues and we are awaiting further details.

The Inspector denied that there was a delay from their side in clearing the body and said the jurisdiction falls under the Madhuranthakam police station only. We acted immediately as soon as we got the information. The jurisdiction was Madhuranthagam only, the revenue board was removed from that place and that led to some confusion initially. Till the rice mill, it is their area, only after 200 meters from the bus stop near Ooonamalai Village our jurisdiction begins, the Inspector added.

Senior officials of the Kanchipuram Police were not available for comment on the issue.