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“This kind of action is unprecedented; it has been very swift. I think it is because of the pressure that the death of Vignesh had created,” says I. Aseervatham, human rights activist working on custodial torture issues. The custodial death of Vignesh on April 19 at the Chennai Secretariat Police Station led to a widespread furore following which six policemen were arrested. Vignesh and his friend Suresh were picked up on April 18 after a vehicular check.

In this case, Aseervatham says, the police have taken custody of Rajasekar a day before his death and had apparently detained him in a lodge. The family refuted the police version and said they were threatened and the police had held negotiations along with village elders to convince them to take the body without protest.

“Only 20 days ago, the DGP had issued a statement directing the cops to not keep those taken into custody for interrogation in the police station. But keeping him in a lodge for inquiry is the same, and violative of DGP’s order.”


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