‘Assaulted’ by Police, Another Man Dies in Tamil Nadu; Kin Demand Action and Fair Inquiry
Dinesh Kumar. Image credit: Deepa
A 26-year-old man died hours after he was released by the police in Thoraipakkam, Chennai on December 20 after having allegedly endured an assault in custody by the police.
The wife of the deceased on Friday submitted a memorandum at the Commissioner’s Office in Chennai demanding a fair inquiry into his death.
“Dinesh was assaulted by the police and that is the cause of his death. We urge you to file a case of murder against the Thoraipakkam police station personnel and inquire into it,” read the submitted memorandum.
Four police personnel attached to the Thoraipakkam police station have been transferred to Vacancy Reserve (VR).
Director General of Police (DGP) Sylendra Babu transferred the case to CB-CID on Friday evening.
Dinesh was picked up by the police on December 20 for allegedly stealing a phone. No case was filed against him.
He was a wage worker from Perambur, North Chennai. He is survived by his wife Kausalya and a three-year-old daughter.
NewsClick spoke to the family members of the deceased. They said that Dinesh had evident injuries on his body when he was released by the cops.
Kausalya said, “When I went to pick up my husband, I saw him seated without any clothes."
“The police even gave him a tight slap in my presence,” she claimed.
“Before letting us go, they took signatures from my husband and me on blank papers. He already had a severe injury on one foot, and the police had beaten him hard in the same spot. He was unable to move. After returning home I fed him juice, which he threw up. I later gave him coffee and rusk; he again threw up. He couldn't eat or drink,” she added.
This is at least the fourth such death due to alleged police atrocity in the past six months.
"First was the death of Rajasekhar in Kodungaiyur, then Vignesh in the Secretariat police station, Aakash in Otteri and now Dinesh Kumar by Thorqipakkam police," said L Soundararajan, Secretary, CPI(M), North Chennai.
“Aakash was from a very poor family. I was also given the summon copy which said that there was video footage showing he walked out of the station; and so, the police were not responsible for the death. But police thrashing is like that; you will not be able to see the injury. The victim may not die immediately. Sometimes they even suffer for a lifetime,” he added.
Kausalya addressing media persons outside the Commissioner Office, Chennai
“Every time there is a lock-up death, the police would say ‘he was an infamous rowdy’, ‘well-known thief’ or a ‘popular gangster’. But the deceased is merely a simpleton who did not have the means to study beyond Class XII,” said Saravana Tamilan, Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI).
“If this is the way the Tamil Nadu Police will treat all the accused in the state, there are cases against four lakh people. Are the police going to beat them all to death? Does the police have the right to do so?” he questioned.
“The police are targeting those who do not have the means to fight for justice, those who do not have political power and those who are uneducated. Moreover, nobody has the right to violate human rights. Someone is guilty is not an excuse to murder them,” he added.
DMK PROPOSES COMPROMISE?
The family members of the deceased and DYFI have accused the ruling DMK of offering a bribe for hushing up the matter.
“When the corpse of the deceased was still in the Stanley Hospital, the father of Chennai mayor, Rajan, a DMK functionary, visited the hospital and proposed a bargain,” claimed Saravana Tamilan.
“He demanded that Dinesh’s wife accept Rs 1 lakh and remain silent about the death as well as sign a blank paper,” he added.
“He waited there for three hours. Upon seeing what was happening, we held a protest to expose the incident. Officials intervened and now action is being taken,” he said.
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