DGP issues SOPs for handling prisoners to prevent custodial deaths

C. Sylendra Babu

C. Sylendra Babu

Following the custodial death of S. Rajasekhar, alias Appu, at the Kodungaiyur police station on Sunday, the second such case in Chennai in less than two months, Director-General of Police C. Sylendra Babu has issued Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for the police to follow while handling accused persons during investigation in crimes.

The SOPs followed a meeting that Mr. Sylendra Babu held with senior police officers on Monday. 

In the SOPs, which have been circulated to all police stations, the DGP asked the police officers to avoid beating accused persons or prisoners to resolve a crime or get confession. He directed that closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras be installed and be functional round the clock at all police stations. 

As for inmates dying in prisons because of ill health, Mr. Sylendra Babu said it was not only necessary to get the medical details of accused persons but also complete medical checkups at the district government hospitals. He warned the police against getting health certificates without proper checkups. The police need to check out the prisoners for medical conditions like seizures; in case, they were found to be suffering from such conditions, they should be given additional treatment. 

As for the steps to be taken to prevent prisoners taking the extreme step at police stations, the SOPs mandate the police not to keep prisoners in cells where there is a ceiling fan, toilet cleaning liquids and “sharp” materials. Prisoners should not be taken on the two-wheeler patrol vehicles. 

Mr. Sylendra Babu also made a separate SOP for handling women prisoners to avoid sexual harassment by police personnel. He reiterated that an accused women should not be arrested after evening hours or be kept in illegal custody at night. The police should avoid abusing women prisoners in front of their relatives and harsh methods against the women relatives of history-sheeters. 

The SOPs also cover the handling of civil, narcotics, property disputes, assault and traffic enforcement cases.

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Printable version | Jun 15, 2022 8:36:36 am |