CHENNAI: Asserting that the State government was taking appropriate action on allegations of custodial deaths, Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Friday observed that in most of the cases the police personnel were found to be not responsible as revealed by the enquiries by judicial officers into these incidents.
“Illness has been the cause of death in many cases. As such, it is incorrect to describe such incidents as custodial deaths. Police personnel have been placed under suspension for dereliction of duty wherever they are found erroneous and the government has given due advice to the police personnel on the importance of keeping the suspects safe,” the Chief Minister said while replying to a special mention on the reported custodial death of a gangster at Kodungaiyur police station on July 16.
The Chief Minister said of the 20 deaths during 2013 and 2014 while in custody or when the suspects were detained for interrogation, six were due to illness while three had committed suicide. Three more died when the police attacked them in self-defence. In four cases, the suspects, in an inebriated condition, had died after they were brought to the police station.