TIRUNELVELI: For those who even have had a glance at the crime columns of newspapers in the recent days, it wouldn’t be uncommon to come across a bizarre recurring incident, or, perhaps, a photo. The news/photo often goes like this: suspects detained in so-and-so case slipped in so-and-so police station toilet and broke their arms. Have you ever wondered how the suspects-cum-victims always fall together but not even a single policeman, who actually use the station toilets more than anyone else, mastered the art of not falling down? Well, someone from Tirunelveli has the same doubts.
A Bramma, a Tirunelveli-based RTI activist and an advocate, has thrown some equally ‘bizarre’ questions at the Public Information Officer of the Office of Director General of Police, Chennai. A sample from his questionnaire follows. Please give the cost incurred for cleaning the police station toilets and the copy of bill receipts of toilet cleaning agents purchased for the purpose.
Not just that. He even wants the number of sanitary workers appointed to clean the ‘slippery’ police station toilets across the State. The advocate also sought information on the action taken to prevent the suspects/accused from “falling” in toilets. He also sought details on the district-wise count of accused/suspects, and police personnel who fell down in police station toilets between 2010 and 2019.
“What departmental action was taken against the police officers for not maintaining the toilets?” goes another question. However, the activist could not help himself but to suspect the police personnel at last.
“If the arms of the accused/suspects were broken by third persons/rowdies, how much they got paid?” Bramma asked, and sought the contact details of officials, to whom accused/suspects should complain if their arms get broken due to “non-maintenance of police station toilets”. He also asked for the contact details of the State Human Rights Commissioner.
Not buying the police’s claims, Bramma said: “If the State Human Rights Commission takes suo moto cognisance of arm-breaking incidents, the human rights violations in police stations will come to an end.”