State police will achieve zero custodial deaths:DGP

Director General of Police C. Sylendra Babu chairing a  symposium at St. Joseph’s College in Tiruchi on Saturday.

Director General of Police C. Sylendra Babu chairing a symposium at St. Joseph’s College in Tiruchi on Saturday. | Photo Credit: Moorthy_M

Director General of Police C. Sylendra Babu on Saturday said that the State police department had embarked upon a plan to completely prevent custodial deaths by sensitising the police personnel.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a symposium on prevention of custodial violence organised by the Tamil Nadu Police and Voice of Voiceless, an association of former police officers, at St. Joseph’s College here, he said that 919 custodial deaths were reported in the country over the last 10 years. The number was 84 in the State. Of them, the State recorded four deaths last year. In 2013, 15 deaths were reported. It was 13 in 2018 and 11 and 2019. The State had recorded one custodial death so far during the current year. After this recent death in Chennai, Chief Minister M.K. Stalin held a review meeting and had given clear instructions to prevent custodial deaths.

Based on this, Mr. Babu said, the State police had formulated a plan of action to ensure zero deaths in police custody. To achieve the goal, it had been decided to reach out to about 1.13 lakh policemen in the State so as to sensitise them on the prevention of custodial deaths in police stations. They would be given special training on dealing with suspects in police stations.

About 300 police officers had undergone a course in the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences on mental health. They in turn would train the policemen in batches. Experts had already been engaged to reduce work-related stress among the policemen. In-service training had also been intensified to ensure efficiency and reduce stress. Moreover, the weekly off system for the policemen in the State had come into effect and it had created a feel-good factor in maintaining their mental health of them.

The DGP said that it could not be construed that all custodial deaths were linked to use of excessive force by the police. Some could be due to police excess, some could be due to suicide in lock-ups and some others could be natural deaths.

Mr. Babu said that the curriculum for police training had been incorporated with topics on dealing with poor, oppressed sections of the society, children, women and elders. It would have a bearing on adopting a humanitarian approach to policing.

He said that the sale of illicit liquor was under control except for a few stray incidences in hilly areas. Steps had been taken to prevent illicit brewing. Tough action would be taken against offenders. Similarly, action would be taken against the students, who disturb public peace.

Commissioner of Police, Tiruchi, G. Karthikeyan, Inspector General of Police, Central Zone, V. Balakrishnan, and others spoke.  

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Printable version | Jun 18, 2022 2:51:07 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/state-police-will-achieve-zero-custodial-deathsdgp/article65442739.ece