Crime
The Pollachi forest officers allegedly asked the men to confess that they killed a leopard on September 7 and took off with its head and nails.

A shocking incident of brutality on tribal people by government officers has come to light in the Anamalai forest area on Wednesday. This after a woman lodged a complaint alleging physical abuse and torture of four men by the Anamalai forest department officials.

In a complaint lodged with the Inspector of Police, Anamalai, Mariammal, mother of one of the men who was allegedly abused, stated that the forest department officers forced the men to confess that they killed a leopard, which was found dead with its head and nails missing on September 7.

The complaint states that Murugan, Kumar, Arun and Kanagaraj were allegedly picked up by the Pollachi Forest Division ranger Kasilingam, foresters Saranya, Prabakaran, Murugesh and Kadhir in a van at the Aliyar checkpost on Tuesday evening. The four men had gone to the Parambikulam-Aliyar canal to take bath. They were taken to a room at the checkpost, where the officers allegedly attacked them with wooden logs and asked them to confess to a crime they never committed.

“They asked the men to sign on a blank white paper and threatened to electrocute them and behead them if they do not obey. They also administered two injections on Murugan, who fainted after that. Showing his condition to others, they said that his fate would befall the others also, if they don’t heed to their orders,” alleges the complaint letter.

When Kanagaraj pleaded with the forest ranger to leave him alone since he had recently had a heart surgery, the ranger allegedly told him that it was “convenient” and that he should die.

Speaking to TNM about the incident, Paramasivam, who is advocating for the rights of tribal people living in Pollachi-Anamalai area said that the men are admitted into a hospital and are undergoing treatment for their injuries.

“The Tahsildar is with us to resolve the issue through negotiations. But, come what may, we have no plans of withdrawing our complaint. We will conduct a series of protests if the complaint is not taken seriously by the authorities. The men have been brutally attacked and asked to give false testimonies,” he said.

He also said that if the complaint is not acted upon, then they would protest in front of the police station and the sub-collector’s office in the coming few days.