Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Friday termed custodial deaths as “travesty of justice.”

Addressing a conference of police officers at the Secretariat, she said: “When the police are expected to protect the lives of citizens in their homes, work places and in public, it would be a travesty of justice if a citizen dies within the precincts of a police station.”

She also told the police officers “an odd death in custody here and there” might appear to be “statistically negligible.” But “a dead man is not a mere statistic for his loved ones.”

At the same time, she also spoke of how the police force had to perform three roles – as guardian of society, an instrument of law and a public servant, besides undergoing hardships. She commended the police for the recent arrest of Fakruddin and his associates following an operation in Puthur without any loss of life.

On the new challenges for the police, she said that once police officials were concerned about inter-district criminals but, now, “inter-State and even inter-national criminals tend to take centre stage.” It was not enough if offenders in heinous crimes were arrested. Their bail applications must be strongly opposed; accused charge-sheeted quickly and expeditious trial conducted, she added.

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