CHENNAI: The suspension of two police personnel on Wednesday following a departmental enquiry over charges of forcing juvenile suspects to indulge in sexual acts with a 19-year-old youth in custody has failed to satisfy civil rights activists, who have sought the immediate arrest of the police personnel involved in the case.
The youth, who was picked up in connection with a mobile phone theft, was sexually abused while in custody at the Mambalam police station on December 10.
Following the incident, the youth developed infection and swelling in his private parts, forcing him to undergo a couple of surgeries. Two of the three police personnel identified by the victim were placed under suspension.
“The law will have to be strictly applied when the accused are policemen, because the principle of law empowers police to restrain individuals only for the purpose of enforcing law,” said V Suresh, general secretary, People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL). Supreme Court has recently observed that police will have to compulsorily register a First Information Report (FIR) when prima facie allegation discloses commission of a cognisable offence and begin investigation. Suresh said his outfit was fighting a case reported at the same police station in which a youth lost nine fingers after being infected by injuries suffered during custodial torture.
Senior lawyer V Kannadasan, former special public prosecutor for human rights cases, observed that this was not an isolated incident.
This shows that the accused policemen were habitually forcing suspects to indulge in such acts. Hence, they should be brought to book, he said. “They should be booked for forcing juveniles to indulge in sexual acts, unnatural in this case, and should also be charged under provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012. They should be immediately arrested as in the case of any individual, and should be treated as criminals,” Kannadasan said. Another activist pointed out that the youth and the juveniles, who were forced to have sex with him, should approach either the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) or Madras High Court for compensation for the torture they underwent.
Three policemen were identified by the victim during the investigations carried out by the CB-CID.
The report submitted to the top brass of State police also suggested the same. When contacted, a senior city police official maintained that the incident was being investigated by the CB-CID. The official pointed out that a departmental inquiry was on and added that action would be taken if the personnel were found guilty.