People’s Watch, a non-governmental organisation, on Monday condemned the inhuman treatment meted out to a group of persons accused in an attempt to murder case by a team of police officers, led by Ambasamudram Assistant Superintendent of Police Balveer Singh (since transferred).
In a press statement, People’s Watch executive director Henri Tiphagne said in view of incidents of police torture similar to that of Sattankulam incident, IPS officers and judicial magistrates should also be closely monitored. The entire police sub-division had several such cases where the victims had not dared to speak fearing consequences.
When the accused were produced before the Cheranmahadevi Judicial Magistrate (JM) for remand, they were threatened by the police that if they spoke about the torture their womenfolk would be in danger.
He said it was surprising that the JM, very much like the then Sattankulam JM, failed to notice the grievous injuries resulting out of torture while remanding them.
He demanded appropriate action against the police officials involved. The High Court portfolio judges for Tirunelveli district should inquire into the custodial torture. The inaction against the then Sattankulam JM citing COVID-19 had now proved that all JMs had to be monitored.
The Legal Services Authority should undertake an inquiry into how the legal aid advocate attending the Cheranmahadevi JM Court could not meet the accused, who were remanded after such brutal torture.
The State government had been conducting a wellness programme to ensure good mental health of the police personnel on duty so that the public were safe. DGP C. Sylendra Babu had to ensure that ASP Balveer Singh was subjected to strict psychiatric and mental health examination before he was put back into any form of policing after his compulsory wait, he said.
He also demanded a complete overhaul of the SP’s intelligence system. The total breakdown of the intelligence system had to be reviewed and action initiated against all those district-level intelligence officers at police stations in Ambasamudram sub-division, who were responsible for hiding the truth.
The ADGP Intelligence should also conduct an inquiry to find out how such a serious human rights violation escaped his attention even when the Assembly was in session. A social justice government could not justify by any means such brutal torture taking place when the Chief Minister himself was responsible for Home department, he said.