20 Mths On, No Action Against Tormentor Cop
CHENNAI: Twenty months have gone by since four Dalits from Thoothukudi were detained, tortured and lodged behind bars for 90 days over a double-murder they were falsely accused of committing. They were let go after real culprits were later caught, and an internal inquiry has found the inspector who foisted the case on the four guilty of cooking up evidence. The victims’ search for justice is still on, as there has not been any action against the official so far.
“I petitioned the SP, range DIG, home secretary and the Chief Minister’s Special Cell seeking action against the inspector,” Yesudasan, one of the victims, told Express. But there has been no action against the official. Yesudasan, along with his relatives Immanuel alias Sudalaimuthu, Varadarajan and Paramasivam were arrested by inspector Selvam due to their suspected connection with a double murder. But as the senior officials themselves inquired, the real story emerged.
It all started when Selvam showed interest in a piece of land belonging to Pichammal, the mother-in-law of Immanuel, in October 2013. The land came to his attention during a petition inquiry after his friend, Anthony Pandian, had a dispute with Pichammal. The land, a family property, was worth approximately `36 lakh then, but Selvam wanted it for a paltry sum of `10 lakh.
Immanuel discussed the matter with Yesudasan before turning down the deal, and informed the official that they would approach the court to settle the civil dispute. Just days later, there was a double-murder in which one Anthony Pandian and his driver Shyamaraj were killed. Soon, Selvam had the four relatives detained on charges of committing the murder adn they were allegedly beaten up.
An internal probe report faulted the inspector for forging statements as signed by the local village administrative officier and one Subramanian. Selvam allegedly forged their signatures as witnesses to the seizure of two swords and two sickles from Yesudasan, and also to record the injuries Yesudasan sustained in custodial torture as those inflicted during the murder.
In a scathing indictment of his conduct as an officer of law, the probe report said, “Selvam has caused a stigma on the department and that there are adequate evidences to prove the charges against him.” This report was submitted over a month ago, but no action has been initiated, alleged the victims, who now want the cop be booked under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
Noting that the departmental inquiry itself has indicted the inspector for misusing his official position to commit atrocities against the Dalits, senior advocate K Elangovan said there was no justification for the police department to delay action against the inspector.