The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has summoned Tamil Nadu Director General of Police (DGP) Shankar Jiwal to appear before it on March 1, 2024. The summons was issued as the Commission is yet to receive the ‘Action Taken report’ that the DGP had been submitted in May 2023. The Commission had, on April 27, 2023, directed the DGP to submit an ‘Action Taken’ report within four weeks, and had followed it up with three reminders – one on June 23, the second on August 3, and the final reminder on October 9, 2023 – to no avail.
In the mail sent to the DGP, the NHRC has mentioned TNM’s story ‘ TNM impact: Balveer Singh IPS booked for torturing a minor in custody,’ in which we reported that the police has inquired into the matter. “The Commission takes a serious view of non receipt of response to its directions by the DGP … and directs its Registry to issue summons to the DGP,” the summons read.
It is to be noted that Balveer Singh IPS, former Ambasamudram Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), has been accused of breaking the teeth of detainees, including a minor, at the Ambai police station using cutting pliers and stones.
On March 26, 2023, three men from Ambasamudram recorded a video saying that they were tortured by Balveer Singh at the Ambai police station, and that their teeth were smashed using stones and other tools. One of the men in the video, Chellappa, said that his brother was kicked in the chest by the police officers at the station and was also sexually assaulted. The men in the video also said that the police officers made them take their clothes off and beat them with lathis. They added that they were threatened by the police to not reveal any of the details of the torture when produced in court.
When the incident came to light, Balveer Singh was transferred and placed on a compulsory waiting list. On March 29, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin said in the Assembly that Balveer Singh has been suspended in response to a call attention motion raised by the opposition parties.