Exactly a week after the deaths of Jayaraj and Bennix, who were brutally tortured by policemen at the Sathankulam police station, the Tamil Nadu government has transferred Superintendent of Police of the district Arun Balagopalan IPS. The government has instead appointed S Jeyakumar as the Superintendent of Police.
Additional Chief Secretary SK Prabakar issued the order on Tuesday notifying that Arun Balagopalan has been put on ‘compulsory wait at the Office of the Director General of Police’.
S Jeyakumar is currently the SP of Villupuram district. In October 2018, he was questioned by the CBI in the alleged gutkha scam. Jeyakumar was the DCP of Chennai when the scam took place. He was named by former Chennai Commissioner of Police S George in a press meet, in which he said that Jeyakumar did not alert him about the illegal trade of gutkha.
Arun Balagopalan came under severe scrutiny for not acting swiftly against policemen in the Sathankulam station. It was only on June 24, after public outrage over the deaths, that the SP suspended sub-inspectors Balakrishnan and Raghuganesh, who were accused of assaulting Jayaraj and Bennix. Sridhar, the inspector at Sathankulam station was placed on waitlist the same day and suspended later. Arun Balagopalan also told the Madras High Court that disciplinary action has been initiated against two constables.
Meanwhile, S Murugan, Inspector General of Economic Offences Wing, has been appointed as the Inspector General, South Zone, replacing KP Shanmuga Rajeswaran, who is retiring on superannuation on June 30.
S Murugan, who was earlier Joint Director of the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption, was accused of sexual harassment by a woman police officer in August 2018. After the survivor’s complaint, the Tamil Nadu police constituted an Internal Committee in accordance with the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013.
However,in August 2019, the Madras High Court transferred the sexual harassment probe to the Telangana police after the survivor alleged that Murugan was attempting to influence the Internal Complaints Committee. This was stayed by the Supreme Court.