THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The warning issued by the quarterly meeting of senior police officers was loud and clear: Interrogation methods should be clearly in line with Supreme Court guidelines and those who resort to torture will be severely punished.
Though the meeting held here, chaired by state police chief Loknath Behera, was intended to review the crime scenario, the recent custodial death of Sreejith at Varappuzha goaded the top echelons to discuss the allegations of police high-handedness in detail.
Sources privy to the discussions revealed that those who attended the meeting were worried about the beating that the image of the police has taken due to rights abuse. "The good work that the police has been doing gets drowned in sporadic incidents of custodial torture," they lamented.
Behera directed the officers to ensure that a memo is prepared at the time of arrest, the interrogators' details are recorded in a register and the arrested person should be examined by a qualified doctor every 48 hours.
"The investigating officers should take note of the health condition of the arrested and should record the medicines they are taking," he added.
The meeting also briefly discussed the undeclared hartal organised via social media. It was agreed that strict vigil be maintained in sensitive areas in north Kerala for a few more days and social media accounts of persons who are suspected to have disseminated inflammatory messages will be monitored and subjected to stringent action.
Meanwhile, it has been learnt that the intelligence wing submitted a preliminary report on the hartal-related violence. Other police wings will be acting on the basis of the intel reports and will collect evidence against the accused persons. A senior officer told 'Express' that if any organisation is found to be involved in the hartal-related violence, cases will be filed against the outfit.
The presence of Intelligence Bureau chief Rajeev Jain added fuel to the speculation that the spy agency was taking a serious view of the hartal. The IB chief had an interaction with Behera and other senior officers.