Tamil Nadu: IPS officer accused of removing teeth of 10 men shifted out
ASP Balveer Singh was accused of pulling out the teeth of over 10 persons and crushing the testicles of two in police custody.
TIRUNELVELI: A day after the alleged brutal acts of custodial violence in Ambasamudram shook the state’s conscience, Director General of Police C Sylendra Babu shifted Balveer Singh, assistant superintendent of police, to the Chief Officer Vacancy Reserve with immediate effect on Monday. Inspector General of Police, South Zone, Asra Garg has been instructed to make additional charge arrangements.
The ASP was accused of pulling out the teeth of over 10 persons and crushing the testicles of two in police custody. The accusations against Singh were levelled by many men who were brought to Ambasamudram, Kallidaikurichi and Vikramasingapuram police stations for inquiries.
Upon recommendation of the police department, Tirunelveli Collector K P Karthikeyan has ordered Sub-Divisional Magistrate-cum-Sub Collector Cheranmahadevi Mohammed Shabbir Alam to conduct an inquiry into the allegations.
“Alam has sent summons to the victims who were tortured at Kallidaikurichi police station and the police personnel who were on duty at that time. He has also asked the personnel to submit CCTV footage from the station and documents, including copy of FIR registered against victims,” said an official.
Auto driver says cop cut ear with pliers, removed teeth
Meanwhile, TNIE met four custodial torture victims, including Chellappa who had released a video online about the torture he underwent. The men said they would recount all details of the police excesses to Alam.
In another shocking allegation, autorickshaw driver Vetha Narayanan (49) from Vikramasingapuram told TNIE on Monday that the ASP injured his ear using cutting pliers and removed his teeth during an inquiry. “Based on a complaint from my wife that I fought with her, Special Sub Inspector Ravi and a policeman took me to Vikramasingapuram police station on Thursday morning. I was made to wait for the ASP to come. Once he arrived, I was taken to an upstairs room where there were no CCTV cameras. There were six policemen, including the ASP and Sub Inspector Murugesan, in the room. Apart from removing my teeth and injuring my ear, Singh kicked me on my thigh,” he said.
Even when Narayanan pleaded with Singh saying that he had been brought to the station just to be interrogated over a family dispute and that he was suffering from nerve disorders, the ASP allegedly continued the torture.
“He spoke to me in Hindi and I didn’t understand anything. He treated me like a hardcore criminal. I was released in the evening after the police took my signatures and fingerprints on two documents which I was not allowed to read. I am not even sure whether they registered an FIR against me,” he said.
When asked about the other police personnel at the station, Narayanan said they initially approached him with a smile when he entered the station premises. “They showed their real faces after the ASP arrived. The personnel suddenly began to hurl abusive slurs at me,” he rued.
(This tweet contains disturbing visuals. Viewer discretion is advised.)
I met four #CustodialTorture victims today. One of them is Vetha Narayanan (49), an auto driver. He alleged ASP, Ambasamudram removed his tooth &damaged his ear with cutting plier in husband and wife issue in Vikramasingapuram police station. @India_NHRC@tnpoliceoffl… https://t.co/kdfQZW35hC pic.twitter.com/eY9gZ49qdE— Thinakaran Rajamani (@thinak_) March 27, 2023
TNIE also visited the remote Jameen Singampatti village to meet Surya, another victim of the torture.
However, the youngster was not available at home and his mother had left for an MGNREGA job. Sources said some persons had come to the village on Sunday and took Surya to a lodge.
“A few victims from Kallidaikurichi, who were served summons by the Village Administrative Officer expressed fear over appearing for the inquiry against the policemen,” the sources said.
Advocate Maharajan, who is assisting the victims, said the state government should take steps to allay the fears of the victims and protect them. Sub Collector Alam could not be reached for comments.