Chennai

''We hope to arrest suspect in Chennai techie murder case soon"

Commissioner T.K. Rajendran has asked residents who have any evidence regarding the crime to share the details with the police — Photo: K.V. Srinivasan  

A spate of murders has prompted Opposition parties to brand Chennai as a ‘City of Murders’. But, T.K. Rajendran, Director-General of Police and Chennai Police Commissioner, in an interview with S. Vijay Kumar, says that while the frequency of incidents in recent days may present an alarming picture, the rate of grave crimes remains the same. Excerpts:

A series of recent murders, particularly that of S. Swathi, have rocked the city. People think that there is lawlessness in the capital…

The situation is not as alarming as is being projected. Though the frequency of murders has increased in recent days, the crime rate is low compared to the previous years. We have arrested the accused in all the cases. Where personal animosity, family issues or affairs are the motive, the police can do little to prevent them. In one case, a woman connived with her paramour to kill her husband. In another, a man killed his wife and three stepdaughters. How can the police prevent such crimes? We can only arrest the accused, which we have done within 24 hours. The Swathi murder case was entrusted to us on Monday and we hope to nab the suspect soon.

The audacity with which murders are being committed gives the impression that the culprits have scant regard for the law. Is arresting the accused after grave crimes alone the duty of law-enforcing agencies?

This is exactly where people have to intervene. Even if they are unable to protect the victims, they could at least alert the police in time or overpower the accused. In the murder of Swathi, the accused walked some distance, scaled a wall and then escaped. If anybody has taken a video or photo, I request them to share it with the police. Their identity will be kept confidential.

Of late, there is a feeling that the visibility of police, night patrolling and vehicle checks have come down.

Adequate crime prevention systems are in place. Hundreds of police personnel are patrolling the city in about 700 vehicles. Vigil has been stepped up in the night with vehicle checks at vulnerable places. The city has about 20,000 CCTV networks. We have deployed men at places of public gathering. The entire K.K. Nagar and Valasaravakkam station limits have been covered by CCTV now. We plan to bring the whole city under electronic surveillance.

What is the rate of conviction of grave crimes, particularly murders, in Chennai? Do investigating officers have the time to follow cases amidst duties such as managing agitations, VIP bandobust etc?

The conviction rate of grave crimes is about 50 per cent. Yes, officers have other duties to attend to. But we review the progress in grave crimes at regular intervals and make sure charge sheets are filed fast in such cases.

There is a fear among the public that they will be harassed if they come forward to prevent crimes or apprehend a suspect. Is there a witness protection system in place?

People need not fear to act when a cognisable offence happens in front of their eyes. In case they cannot overpower the accused, they can at least make a phone call to 100. We have deployed vehicles and manpower strategically to ensure that a police party will reach any scene of disturbance within minutes. The police have been sensitised to protect the interest of whistle-blowers or eyewitnesses.

There is an allegation that crimes like theft or robbery of mobile phones are not registered by police. Many people who lost their mobile phones that contain crucial data, including photos, feel the police have let them down…

Complaints of mobile phone theft or robbery will be registered. There is no instruction not to entertain such complaints.


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Printable version | Jun 16, 2021 5:22:04 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/We-hope-to-arrest-suspect-in-Chennai-techie-murder-case-soonquot/article14406639.ece

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