Amidst severe criticism from civil rights activists and some allies of the ruling DMK, the Tamil Nadu police on Monday shed several weeks of reluctance and registered a case against suspended Assistant Superintendent of Police Balveer Singh on charges of torturing suspects in custody in the Ambasamudram Sub Division last month.
Mr. Singh has been accused of damaging and uprooting the teeth of some suspects during interrogation in a few police stations and also squeezing the testicles of a couple of men.
The Tirunelveli District Crime Branch has registered the case under Sections 506 (1) (Criminal intimidation), 324 (voluntarily hurting by using dangerous weapon) and 326 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt by using dangerous weapon).
Tirunelveli Superintendent of Police N. Silambarasan could not be reached for his comments. His ‘gunman’, who attended phone calls from this correspondent, said he was in a meeting with the Deputy Inspector General of Police through videoconference.
The suspects, who were picked up by the Ambasamudram, Kallidaikurichi and Vickramasingapuram police on “trivial charges” alleged that Mr. Singh, a 2020 batch Indian Police Service officer, had damaged and uprooted their teeth after taking them to these police stations.
Initially, the Tamil Nadu Government, had transferred and placed Mr. Singh in “vacancy reserve” and later suspended him from service. The government had also ordered for inquiry by the Sub-Collector, Cheranmahadevi, Mohammed Shabbir Alam.
Subsequently, three Inspectors of Police, two Sub-Inspectors and two special branch constables were also put in “vacancy reserve”.
Later, while Mr. Alam had begun his inquiry, the government chose to appoint IAS officer P. Amudha, Principal Secretary, the Department of Rural Development, to probe the allegations. She had sat for an inquiry on April 10 but none turned up to record their statement.
When she commenced her two-day inquiry on Monday (April 17) at Ambasamudram Taluk Office, 11 persons including eight victims and three family members recorded their statements.