Chief Minister Jayalalithaa assured the Assembly that her government will take stern action against police personnel responsible for lock-up deaths.

Making a suo motu statement in the House on Thursday on CPM MLA Annadurai's statement a day earlier that there had been 11 custodial deaths in the past nine months, she said that there were only four such deaths during the period. To find out whether they were really custodial deaths, enquiries by judicial magistrates had been taken up under Section 176 of the Cr. PC. The magistrate had ruled out custodial death in one case. Reports in three other cases were yet to be received. As Mr. Annadurai had also mentioned allegations of rape of four tribal women in Thirukovilur police station range in Villupuram district by police personnel, Ms. Jayalalithaa said the police received a complaint only four days after its team combed the village for thieves on November 22, 2011.

During the judicial magistrate's enquiry, the four women were subjected to medical examination and the doctor had given a report that there were no signs of rape.

“The magistrate's enquiry is not over. Meanwhile, a PIL filed in the Madras High Court is pending. The government has submitted to the High Court that if needed, it is willing to transfer the case to the CB-CID. The case is coming up for hearing on April 2,” she said. The five police personnel, including the inspector who had kept the tribal women in police vehicles that night, had been suspended and the four women given compensation of Rs 5 lakh each, she added.