CHENNAI: Even as the Director General of Police (DGP) Dr C Sylendra Babu issued standard operating procedures (SOPs) on how to handle a suspect in police custody, reports of alleged police brutality and custodial deaths continued to rock the state this year.
On May 10, in the state Assembly, Chief Minister MK Stalin vowed to put an end to custodial deaths saying, “Whichever party is in power, custodial deaths cannot be justified.” The Madras High Court also had observed the merciless assault and deaths in police custody showed the deplorable state of mind of the policemen.
Custodial deaths On April 18, 25-year-old V Vignesh was arrested for alleged possession of drugs and died in hospital after he suffered a seizure at the Secretariat Colony police station. Days after the incident, Vignesh’s brother alleged the police attempted to bribe the family with `1 lakh to keep mum over the death.
Henri Tiphagne, executive director of People’s Watch said the mere fact that historysheeters were gunned down by police appeases the public and no one questions them. “In police encounters, often the ones who lose their lives are alleged criminals, but that does not give the police the right to take the life of a person,” he added.