Tuticorin custodial death: Not even hurtful language allowed, says Chennai Top cop
Chennai, Jun 28: Guidelines laid down for police on handling arrests or accused persons include not even using hurtful language against them, while beating them up was "unlawful," City Police Commissioner AK Viswanathan said on Sunday.
His comments, made in response to scribes' queries here on the standard procedure in this connection, come in the backdrop of a national furore over the death of a father-son duo in a hospital in Tuticorin recently after they were allegedly thrashed while in police custody earlier.
Popular Tamil cinema director G Hari, known for his blockbuster cop stories like 'Saamy,' expressed concern over the Tuticorin deaths and 'regretted' his glorifying the police in five of his action flicks.
Viswanathan, speaking to reporters here, said there are a number of guidelines, besides Supreme Court directions, vis-a-vis arrests.
"Assault and torture (of the arrested) should not be done. As far as the Greater Chennai Police or the state police is concerned, we have reiterated that even language that could hurt someone should not be used," he said. "
Beating up is wrong, unlawful. We have been insisting this to all officials, personnel and police stations," he added.
P Jayaraj and his son Fennix, arrested for 'violating' lockdown norms over business hours of their cellphone shop, died at a hospital in Kovilpatti on June 23, with the relatives alleging that they were severely thrashed at the Sathankulam police station by police personnel earlier.
The incident had triggered a furore in the state, leading to the suspension of four policemen, including two sub-inspectors. Civil society members and activists, political parties and celebrities have demanded justice for the death of the father-son duo.
Meanwhile, director Hari expressed concern over the Tuticorin deaths. He said a Sathankulam-like incident should not recur and said highest punishment for the culprits alone would ensure this.
"The excesses of a few personnel in the department has maligned the entire force. I really regret making five films glorifying the police," he said in the statement. Known for his fast-paced action thrillers, Hari had churned out blockbuster cop stories 'Singam' and 'Saamy,' starring Surya and Vikram respectively in titular roles, following them up with sequels.
Meanwhile, Makkal Needhi Maiam founder-president Kamal Haasan also sought justice for the father-son duo. In a statement, he said while financial assistance announced by the government was needed, however, the government should not stop with it. He called for a detailed probe into the matter, saying all concerned should be punished for their role in the incident.
Meanwhile, a constable attached with the city police has been suspended pending enquiry following a social media post in connection with the Sathankulam incident. "The post maligns the police department," sources said. When enquired, the policeman revealed he had shared his Facebook account password with his friends and that someone had written the post of which he was not aware of. He has been since suspended for bringing disrepute to the police department and an enquiry has been ordered, police sources said.