Sathankulam custodial deaths: 'Investigate role of Friends of Police volunteers'

Selvarani had mentioned that volunteers Ganapathy, Kannan, Jacob, and Elisa were among those that beat her son and husband to death.

Published: 30th June 2020 02:46 PM  |   Last Updated: 30th June 2020 02:46 PM   |  A+A-

Custodial death, police brutality, Lockup death

Representational Image. (Express Illustration)

Express News Service

THOOTHUKUDI: The role of the Friends of Police (FoP), or volunteers, in the Sathankulam custodial death case needs to be investigated, appealed complainants. The volunteers are hired to supply necessaries and assistpolice at check posts. Even though their role in the custodial deaths is culpable, the volunteers have not been arrested. Their volunteering passes given by district police has not been cancelled yet.

Mother of Beniks – one of the victims – J Selvaranihad mentioned in her complaint that her son and husband Jeyaraj died after they were beaten up by the police and volunteers. Selvarani had mentioned that volunteers Ganapathy, Kannan, Jacob, and Elisa were among those that beat her son and husband to death. These volunteers have since gone into hiding, said a relative of the deceased traders.

PeikulamTraders’ Association president Stalin told TNIE that the allegations against FoPhave not been taken into consideration by the authorities. Vadivu, mother of Mahendran, had also noted in her complaint that volunteers had accompanied police to beat Mahendran. Mahendran was picked up by Sathankulam police for inquiry in one Jeyakumar's murder caseinstead of his brother Durai, who was later arrested.

High Court advocate B Ram Kumar Adityan pointed out that FoP are roped in for social service with police. This is aimed at bridging the gap between the police and public. Iit was a good idea to maintain a police-public relationship, but over time, it came to be misused", he said.  

When asked, a senior police official said that the role of FoPs in the custodial deaths will be probed by the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court. So far, none of the volunteers has been arrested. Collector Sandeep Nanduri said that the revenue officials have not issued any pass for volunteers assisting policemen at check post.


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