Family learns of Indian inmate’s death from cellmate

June 7th, 2008 - 11:01 am ICT by IANS  

Singapore, June 7 (DPA) The family of an Indian national who died in a prison here two weeks ago claimed they learned about the death from a cellmate, not authorities, a published report said Saturday. The case, involving Katu Raja, 30, who was jailed after a permitted stay in Singapore had expired, has been referred to police for investigation, The Straits Times said.

Relatives who live in Tamil Nadu reportedly suspect Raja was murdered and said they were not told of the death by prison authorities or India’s High Commission in Singapore, rather the news arrived when a fellow inmate called.

A distress alarm in Katu Raja’s cell sounded on May 22, the newspaper said. A staff nurse was immediately summoned by a prison officer who responded to the alarm, the report said.

Reportedly, the officer saw that the inmate had vomited. Katu Raja allegedly complained of giddiness, but soon became unconscious.

He was given emergency medical aid and taken to a hospital, but was dead on arrival, according to the report.

A spokesman said the Indian High Commission had been informed of Katu Raja’s death in accordance with standard operating procedures.

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