CHENNAI: Days after the two custodial deaths in Chennai and Tiruvannamalai, Director General of Police (DGP) C Sylendra Babu on Tuesday ordered all police personnel in the State to not detain suspects in police stations late at night.
The deaths of Vignesh and Thangamani have kicked up a storm after their families alleged that the police paid them to buy their silence. Sources said the DGP expressed his concern at a few police personnel having tainted the department’s ‘good name’.
Both the men had been made to stay in police stations overnight. In both cases, police claimed that the man suffered seizures and died without responding to treatment. The cases have been transferred to the CB-CID and action was taken against the personnel concerned.
V Vignesh was taken into custody on April 18 midnight from Kellys at Purasawalkam for allegedly possessing machetes and half a kg of ganja. He was kept in the station overnight. While having breakfast on April 19, Vignesh reportedly started having seizures. The police rushed him to Government Kilpauk Medical College Hospital, where he died later. A press release said SI Puzham Perumal of Greater Chennai Police control room, Constable Ponraj of Secretariat Colony station, and Home Guard Deepak were suspended.
In Tiruvannamalai, Thangamani from the Malai Kuravar community was secured by personnel from Prohibition Enforcement Wing (PEW) on April 26 for allegedly brewing liquor. He was remanded in judicial custody the same day, but he developed seizures the next day, police said. Thangamani died on April 27. His family alleged that he died because of police torture. Four personnel from PEW — Deputy Superintendent of Police Rajan; Inspector Nirmala; and constables Jayachandran and Jayakumar — were transferred to the wait-list bench.
In both cases, police were accused of paying the families — `1 lakh to Vignesh’s family and `7 lakh to Thangamani’s family — so they remain ‘quiet’. Both the families, however, agreed to return the money and cooperate with the investigation.