Tamil Nadu custodial violence: Sub Divisional Magistrate refused to record statements, say victims

The ASP was accused of pulling out the teeth of over 10 persons and crushing the testicles of two in police custody. 

Published: 30th March 2023 08:45 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th March 2023 01:25 PM   |  A+A-

Custodial violence victims at SDM office in Cheranmahadevi on Wednesday.

Custodial violence victims at SDM office in Cheranmahadevi on Wednesday.

Express News Service

TIRUNELVELI:  Sub Divisional Magistrate-cum-Sub Collector, Cheranmahadevi, MD Shabbir Alam IAS allegedly refused to record statements of six victims who visited his office to give their statement against former Ambasamudram ASP Balveer Singh. 

The office of sub-divisional magistrate-cum-sub collector later clarified the office collected the statement from Chellappa, one of six victims, and all of them would be called one by one for inquiry as per the procedure of police standing order. “There was a miscommunication as an inquiry was going on when the victims visited the office,” the statement said. 

Speaking to reporters, the victims Marimuthu, another person by the name Marimuthu, Esakkimuthu, and two others said they wanted to end their lives as the sub-collector was not even listening to them. 

“In Ambasamudram police station, the ASP made us sit wearing just inner wear, removed our teeth and crushed testicles of our newly-married brother. Our brother cannot even walk. We fear taking him to the hospital. We also fear that we may be encountered,” said Esakkimuthu. 

Surya, who was the first person to come forward against Singh claiming he had removed his teeth, did a U-turn on Wednesday stating his teeth were broken in a fall. 

Advocate Maharajan who is helping the victims said Alam recorded Surya’s statement even though he had not sent a summons to him. 

Another victim, Vetha Narayanan of Vikramasingapuram, told reporters that a special branch constable, Bogan, and other personnel brought him to Ambasamudram on Wednesday afternoon and attempted to get his signature on a statement in which it has been written that his teeth fell naturally. “I managed to escape from them, and advocate Maharajan saved me,” he said

Another victim, Subash, said his four teeth were removed by Singh. “I submitted this as a written statement to Alam. The police also gave me money for undergoing treatment. If anything happens to my family members or me, the police are responsible,” he added. 

An official said the sub-collector inquiry is on the right path.

Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin on Wednesday informed the State Assembly that Balveer Singh, hitherto Assistant Superintendent of Police of Ambasamudram sub-division in Tirunelveli district, who was accused of torturing suspects when they were brought for interrogation, has been placed under suspension.

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.


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