CHENNAI: A tsunami survivor of coastal Nagapattinam, running a tea shop, was hauled over the coals by the cops for denying free ‘chai’ and the TN State Human Rights Commission has come to his rescue. The panel has directed an SI and two constables in that district to pay a compensation of Rs 20,000 each to the chaiwala for violating his human rights.
Anthony Raj, a tsunami survivor living in the temporary shelter at Kadambadi, is running a tea shop adjacent to the District Police Quarters. The cops, Veerasamy and Thiagarajan, used to drink tea daily free of cost. Since Raj started avoiding providing tea free of cost, the duo developed some grudge against him. While so, on April 20, 2007, Raj along with others was taking shelter under a tree near the quarters. The cops, who came there, abused them in filthy language and assaulted them. The duo also took Raj to the police station and lodged a complaint. The SI Manimekalai registered a case, arrested and remanded him in judicial custody. Hence, the present complaint.
Denying the allegations, the cops said that it was only Raj and his men, who abused and assaulted them, when they questioned their presence in the police quarters. The SI stated that Raj sustained injuries when he attempted to escape from the scene.
The Commission directed that the government shall pay Rs 60,000 to the complainant within four weeks towards compensation. After the payment, the government may recover Rs 20,000 each from the three cops -- Manimekalai, then Sub-Inspector of Police (Crime), Vellimangalam Police Station, Veeraswamy, constable now working at KK Nagar police station Tiruchy, and Thiagarajan, Armed Reserve constable Nagapattinam, as per rules. The Government may also initiate departmental action against the trio for their lapses, SHRC Acting Chairperson Jayanthi, IAS (retired) has said.
The commission observed that it is difficult to believe that a poor uneducated villager, who was resting under a tree adjacent to a police quarters, would have the audacity of abusing them in filthy language and attempt to assault them. It can very easily be inferred that after assaulting the complainant and others, the complainant was taken to the Vellipalayam Police Station where, to escape from the consequences of the assault, the duo had adopted the usual method of lodging a complaint and getting him remanded to judicial custody, to silence and paralyze him from initiating any legal steps, which has happened in the case on hand. To protect the constables, the SI foisted the case against Raj, the commission said and imposed the fine amount.