Recently, six officers attached to the Secretariat Colony police station in Chennai were arrested for the alleged custodial death of a youth named Vignesh.

TN Chief Minister Stalin addressing the state assemblyTwitter
news Assembly Wednesday, May 11, 2022 - 11:05

As Tamil Nadu police have come under the scanner for two recent custodial deaths, Chief Minister MK Stalin told the Assembly on Tuesday, May 10, that safety will be ensured in jails for those accused of crime. In his speech, CM Stalin Stalin said that no person will be tortured physically or mentally in police custody, and assured the safety of people lodged in jails across the state. He added that custodial deaths cannot be justified irrespective of which party was in power in the state.

“Custodial deaths can never be justified and the police department has been directed to strictly follow the guidelines of the Supreme Court while questioning suspects. An advisory has been issued to prevent custodial deaths. Through sensitisation programmes, police personnel are being trained on both handling suspects and scientific investigation,” he said.

The Chief Minister's assurance came after six police officials attached to the Secretariat Colony police station in Chennai were arrested for the alleged custodial death of a 25-year-old man named Vignesh, who belonged to the Scheduled Caste community. Vignesh, along with another person Suresh, was taken into police custody on April 18, and Vignesh died on April 19. The autopsy report mentioned that there were 13 injuries on his body, including a fracture in his right leg and several injuries on his face and head, allegedly due to torture in police custody.

In another incident, a person Thangamani died in Tiruvannamalai sub-jail on April 27 after being taken into custody on April 26 for allegedly brewing illicit liquor. His family and friends have alleged that the police had tortured him to death, and an investigation is underway.

Read: Six policemen arrested in connection with Vignesh custodial death case

In his speech in Assembly, CM Stalin cited the filing of a chargesheet in the gangrape of a woman in Vellore within 32 days of the FIR being filed, claiming that the Tamil Nadu police “created history” in the case. The woman, a doctor hailing from Bihar, filed a complaint on March 22, and a case was filed. A month later, the chargesheet was filed and the accused were held under the Goondas Act, the Chief Minister said.

Read: Vignesh custodial death: Discrepancies in CM’s statement in Assembly & police’s version

“Tamil Nadu has regained its place as a peaceful and safe state. The government's policy is aimed at prevention of crimes rather than its reduction and the priority is for 'preventive' policing,” he said. Further, as part of his announcements for the police department (2022-23), the CM announced a night patrol special allowance of Rs 300 per month to policemen up to the rank of inspectors. Like the one-day weekly off system for police constables, sub-inspectors and special sub-inspectors would also be given a day off every 15 days which would benefit 10,508 policemen of that rank.

Read: Sathankulam custodial deaths: Accused inspector Sridhar claims threat to life

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