NHRC has objected to registration of attempt to murder case

Human Rights activists decried the killing of the two accused in the Sub-Inspector Alwin Sudhan murder case in an ‘encounter’ near Manamadurai on Friday night even as the local Judicial Magistrate launched an enquiry on Saturday.

The police claim that they shot dead Prabu and Bharathi at Theethanpettai when they attempted to escape while being brought from Madurai Central Prison to a Magistrate court at Sivaganga for extension of their remand.

After the ‘encounter’, which took place around 8. 45 p.m. on Friday, a case was registered at the Manamadurai police station under sections 294(b) (uttering obscene words), 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty) and 307 (attempt to murder) of the Indian Penal Code. Sections 3 of Tamil Nadu Public Property Destruction Act and 3(a) of the Explosives Substances Act were also invoked.

Taking cognisance of the offence, Ilayankudi Judicial Magistrate Magendira Boopathy commenced an enquiry on Saturday morning.

Deputy Inspector General of Police (Ramnad range) M. Ramasubramani said that the Judicial Magistrate visited the site and was present during the post-mortem examination, conducted at the Madurai Government Hospital.

The DIG said that after the Judicial Magistrate completed the formalities, the bodies of the accused were handed over to the family members and later buried at their native village Pudukulam on Saturday evening amid tight security.

No untoward incident was reported in the district, he told The Hindu.

District Collector V. Rajaraman also said that the situation was normal.

Giving details of the incident, the DIG had told The Hindu on Friday night that the duo escaped after attacking the escort police personnel in the Madurai Anna Nagar police limits on Friday afternoon.

He said that immediately, the police launched a search operation and a team intercepted the two accused near Theethanpettai.

The accused, who had managed to get hold of a two-wheeler, were proceeding towards Theethanpettai, when the police team on trail, tried to catch them.

In a bid to flee, the two attacked the police team, after which, DSP Manamadurai Velladurai, who was heading the team, opened fire at them in defence, the DIG said.

The DIG said that only on Friday morning the Collector had issued orders to detain the duo under the Goondas Act as per the advice of Superintendent of Police Sakthivel, who assumed office on Friday after the transfer of his predecessor M. Panneerselvam.

T. Lajapathi Roy, human rights activist and advocate practising in the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court, decried the killing, saying “the encounter only proves that there is no rule of law in Tamil Nadu.”

Describing the killing as ‘cold-blooded murder’, he said “even a child will not believe the story that the accused who had surrendered voluntarily to face trial in the murder case, had attempted to escape.”

The Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Vellaithurai, who was transferred to Manamadurai two weeks ago, had come to execute this specific assignment, he alleged, and demanded that a case under section 302 of IPC be registered against him as per the guidelines of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).

Pointing out that the police registered a case under 307 IPC (attempt to murder) against the deceased accused, he said that the NHRC had taken very strong objection to registering of cases under 307 IPC and termed it illegal. All the police personnel involved in the incident should be arraigned as accused in the case and made to face trial.