The Thoothukudi police have commenced an investigation against four police personnel over the alleged assault on a suspect during interrogation.
The accused personnel – three women constables and a sub-inspector of Muthiahpuram police station – have been placed under suspension. Thoothukudi district Superintendent of Police (SP) Balaji Saravanan told IANS that an investigation against them is underway.
The four police personnel were placed under suspension on Wednesday, 18 May, after a woman, Sumathi (40), complained that she was taken into custody and brutally assaulted. The woman is undergoing treatment at Thoothukudi Medical College Hospital, where doctors found that she had internal injuries.
What Had Happened?
The police personnel placed under suspension are constables Kalpana and Uma Maheswari, head constable Mercina, and SI Muthumalai.
According to police, a man named Prabakaran lodged a complaint with Muthiahpuram police on 7 May about 10 sovereigns of gold, which were missing, and accused Sumathi of stealing them.
Based on the complaint, Muthiahpuram police took Sumathi to the police station for inquiry after 10 pm on the same day, according to The Hindu. The woman alleged that the police personnel then assaulted her brutally and that she lost her consciousness as a result of the torture.
When she was let go by the police, Sumathi reportedly got herself admitted to the hospital and submitted a complaint to the SP. In the SP’s preliminary inquiry, he found that Sumathi had been taken to the police station and questioned without an FIR being registered against her, The Hindu reported.
Apart from the suspension of the three constables and SI, the SP also transferred a Special Branch constable to the Armed Reserve Police for failing to inform higher officials about this incident.
Two custodial deaths in the month of April have increased scrutiny on the Tamil Nadu police. After Vignesh, a 25-year-old Dalit man from Chennai, and Thangamani, a 42-year-old man in Tiruvannamalai died after being taken into police custody, Chief Minister MK Stalin told the Assembly earlier this month that the state government would ensure safety in jails for those accused of crime. He said that no person will be tortured physically or mentally in police custody.
(With inputs from IANS, The Hindu.)
(Published in arrangement with The News Minute.)