A serving Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) in Tamil Nadu has been given suspension orders after a five-year-long probe into excesses and irregularities by him.
According to reports, ACP Tholkappian, belonging to Ariyalur district in the state, had indulged in custodial violence of suspects in a case from 2014. After having been pulled up by the State Human Rights Commission and the CB-CID, he has now been suspended.
As per a report in the Times of India, the incident relates to a drunk brawl in 2014 when the ACP allegedly nabbed a DMDK party cadre and five others for picking a fight with an armed reserve constable. Tholkappian reportedly beat up the accused before he was produced in front of the magistrate and sent to remand. It is not uncommon for the police department in the state to regularly beat up suspects and accused while in police custody. Images of the suspects are circulated to the media where they are more often than not witnessed wearing a cast around their neck and struggling to walk.
The newspaper further reports that while arrest of the men was originally recorded at 6 am, the FIR showed the arrest at 10 am. The men who had been arrested approached the SHRC (State Human Rights Commission) which directed the complaint to the CB-CID. On Wednesday, Chennai Police Commissioner AK Viswanathan passed orders suspending ACP Tholkappian, which comes close to his retirement from service.
In November 2017, Tholkappian was replaced as the Assistant Superintendent of Police, Nungambakkam Range. He was transferred as ACP, Modern Control Room, Greater Chennai Police. Prior to the Lok Sabha elections held in May this year, the senior police officer had been shifted to the Thyagaraya Nagar (T Nagar) police station during a shuffle of several police officials in the state.