The family is demanding that the Tamil Nadu government book the prison authorities under the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act and jail the officials in-charge for negligence.

Hands showing inmates in prison
news Crime Thursday, June 17, 2021 - 13:41

It has been 58 days since the death of his son, but Papanasam continues to wait for justice. The father of history-sheeter Muthu Mano who was killed by seven other inmates at the Palayamkottai jail allegedly due to a caste clash, Papanasam continues to protest seeking justice for Muthu and has refused to receive his son’s body till now.

Papanasam accuses the jail staff members of negligence leading to his son’s death. Speaking to TNM, he says, “Jails are places with high security, how can a murder take place there? We want justice and we want action initiated against the jail warden and other jail staff members who were present at the time of the crime.”

Muthu Mano, a history-sheeter and youth wing secretary of the Devendra Kula Vellalar Kootamaippu, was picked up by the police on April 8 in connection with an attempt to murder case and lodged in the Srivaikundam sub-jail. He was transferred to the Palayamkottai Central Prison on April 22 and moved to a cell along with his rivals. However, a few hours after that, his rivals reportedly started attacking him and three other prisoners from Dalit communities with stones and sharp objects until Muthu fell to the ground.

The police reportedly rushed him to a government hospital but did not inform the family. Meanwhile, Papanasam says, “On April 22, I was returning home after completing the funeral of my father. As soon as I entered the village, my grandson came running to inform me about the news flash. He said TV channels were reporting that Muthu was severely injured in a clash that broke out inside the prison.”

“We immediately rushed to the hospital but they didn’t allow us inside. They said my son was serious but after an altercation they permitted me into the room. However, what I saw was my son lying dead. He was severely injured in the head. They had just wrapped a cloth around his head and the pool of blood was not even cleaned,” he recalls. “So we suspect that he must have been brought dead to the hospital,” Papasanam adds.

Later, the Perumalpuram police booked seven inmates of the Palayamkottai Central Prison – J Jacob, G Madasamy, S Ram alias Ramamoorthy, P Maharaja, Santhana Marimuthu alias Kokkikumar, M Kanthasamy and R Arunkumar – for Muthu Mano’s murder.

However, the family and kin are staging protests and refused to receive the body from the Tirunelveli government hospital. The family members are demanding that the Tamil Nadu government take action against the police officials. Papasanam says, “Do they (the authorities) think we don’t have anyone and that we’re a small Dalit community? Why are they hesitating to take any action?”

“I have seen so many police officials being suspended but suspension is not a solution. I want the officials in charge to be booked under sections of the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act and jailed for their negligence. Until then we will not take the body,” he says.

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