New Delhi: After V Vignesh, a 25-year-old Chennai man detained for allegedly possessing drugs died at the police station on Tuesday, April 19, the alleged custodial death case was transferred to the Crime Branch-Criminal Investigation Department (CB-CID) on Friday.
Two policemen were found guilty and have been suspended.
Vignesh, who along with one more accused Suresh was taken to the police station after they were caught travelling in an autorickshaw with ganja in their possession, died on Tuesday, a day after he and his friend were detained by the police near Kellys area on Monday night.
A few hours after the accused, Vignesh and Suresh, were taken to the station, Vigensh developed seizures and was taken to the hospital where he was declared dead. While reports suggest that Vignesh died in custody, the police denied allegations that the accused was tortured. They have stated that his death was due to an illness.
India Ahead in conversation with Suresh’s (another accused, who was in custody with Vignesh) mother found that Suresh is still in police custody. She has also corroborated the allegations that both her son and Vignesh were allegedly beaten in custody.
Explaining the legalities of the case, Advocate Satish Kumar told India Ahead, “No police officer has the right to beat a person in custody until and unless they need to protect themselves.”
Speaking on the issue that Vignesh’s family was not informed about his cremation, Advocate Kumar said that it was the duty of the police to inform the family members about Vignesh’s death. Further elaborating on the alleged custodial death of the accused, Kumar added, “Since the exact cause of the death is yet not known, it is of prime importance that the police should follow basic humanity.”
Calling the incident unfortunate, former DGP of Tamil Nadu Letika Saran said, “According to reports, bruises have been found on the bodies of the two accused. However, the matter has been forwarded to the judicial magistrate for inquiry.”
“It is the matter of investigation by the CB-CID of whether Vignesh was beaten during the police custody or the marks found on his body were due to earlier injury. Therefore, it will be fair to wait till the result of the inquiry comes out,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Tamil Nadu government has announced Rs 10 lakh ex-gratia to Vignesh, who died in the custody of the Tamil Nadu police. Addressing the Assembly today Chief Minister MK Stalin said that in addition to the compensation to Vignesh’s family, the government will also bear the cost of Suresh’s treatment.
However, the custodial death case has now taken a political turn as the Opposition AIADMK has slammed Chief Minister Stalin over the custodial death and have asked the state government to increase the compensation from 10 lakh to 50 lakh.
Slamming the ruling government, AIADMK spokesperson Kovai Sathan said that the police personnel in the state are venting out their anger and frustration on common people and civilians who are helpless in front of them. He further added that such cases are increasing day by day under the DMK regime and justice must be done.