In an incident that shows abuse of power by the police, Pudukottai Superintendent of Police S Selvaraj was seen slapping and manhandling a college student who was protesting against the Pollachi sexual assault case on Friday.
A video of SP Selvaraj slapping a 24-year old student from Thanjavur, G Aravinthaswamy, when the latter was protesting outside the Government Women’s college in Pudukottai, spread on social media on Friday.
In the video, the SP can be seen walking towards Aravinthasamy, who is wearing a red T-shirt and being held by other junior officers. He slaps the young man and then pushes him, following which he raises his hand at him in a threatening manner. All the while Aravinthaswamy is being held tightly by a man (probably a policeman in Mufti) so that he cannot move away.
“It was 9:30 am and we were protesting with around 70 people. We were about to end the protests by 10:30 am. However, lots of students including girls began joining the protest, taking the number to 120 protestors. This is when the Inspector arrived and I spoke to him,” Aravinthaswamy, who is the State Joint Secretary of the Students Federation of India (SFI) told TNM.
When he tried to talk to the inspector, the latter spoke rudely to him, Aravinthaswamy alleges. This was followed by a verbal altercation between the Deputy Superintendent of police and the students.
“The DSP was using abusive language before the girls. I asked him why he was cursing and he spoke rudely to me. This is when the SP entered. He grabbed me by my shirt and assaulted me. Following this, the officers attempted to drag me into the jeep and grabbed my private parts hard to hurt me,” Aravinth added.
The students surrounded the police vehicle to get the officers to release Aravinthaswamy. Following this, he was admitted to the Pudukottai Government Medical College for treatment and was discharged on Saturday afternoon.
“When they realised they could not take me into custody due to protest, they released me,” he added.
The students organised a protest rally before the SP office on Saturday.
Speaking to TNM, Pudukottai SP S Selvaraj said, “They (protestors) met me today. The SFI students protested in the college yesterday and I intervened. Now the issue is settled. I have asked them to independently raise demands and not instigate students to protest with them.”
Police with the AIADMK Government
Aravinthaswamy adds that the police had attempted to silence the protestors because they were supporting the ruling AIADMK.
“One of the accused in the Pollachi incident was from the AIADMK and therefore the party wants to bury the issue. The police is lending support to them for this ,” Aravinth told TNM.