Tamil Nadu

Arrests only for heinous crimes: DGP

On the same day P. Jayaraj, 60, and his son J. Bennix, 31, were in police custody at the Sattankulam station, Director-General of Police J.K. Tripathy had directed the police to defer arrests, except in cases of heinous crimes.

The DGP had instructed the police that the arrests of persons aged above 60 and having co-morbidities should be avoided to the extent possible.

The father-son duo was arrested under Sections 188 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 269 (Negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life), and 353 (Assault or use criminal forces to prevent public servant from discharging duty) and 506(ii) (Criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code, police sources said.

The duo died a couple of days after they were arrested and remanded in judicial custody, triggering protests from local residents, traders, human rights activists and political parties, who alleged that the deaths were caused due to police excesses and demanded stringent action against the personnel responsible for the incident.

Mr. Tripathy’s instructions were issued on June 20, 2020, as part of the Standard Operating Procedure for making arrests during the pandemic. He said a decision on arrest should be made by the Sub Divisional Officer, meaning the Deputy Superintendent of Police in districts and the Assistant Commissioners of Police in cities.

The DGP said police personnel above the age of 50 should not be deployed for effecting arrests and remand extension and prisoner escort duties. While one person from each police station with full protective gear should be earmarked to record the arrests, those arrested should be asked to wear a mask and gloves.

Presume positive

“After apprehension, the accused shall be presumed COVID-19-positive unless proved otherwise, and sanitisation protocol for vehicles and men should be followed,” he said, adding that those arrested should be put in lock-up after ensuring physical distancing.

Mr. Tripathy also directed that accused persons taken into custody should be sent for medical examination. Besides routine checks, clinical examination and temperature checks should be conducted. "A thermal scanner may be used to check the body temperature of the accused. In case of the accused revealing any symptoms of the disease, a swab test may be taken and the accused shall be quarantined in an isolation ward till the test result is received,” he said.

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Printable version | Aug 9, 2020 11:25:18 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/arrests-only-for-heinous-crimes-dgp/article31919142.ece

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