Alleging that the Salem Rural Police are trying to cover up the custodial death of contract worker N. Gokulakannan (22) of Mettur, Tamil Nadu People Rights Movement has demanded a CBI probe into the issue and also action against the police officials.
Addressing media persons here on Friday, its State president Poomozhi said that the victim was picked up from his residence by six policemen in plain clothes for questioning in connection with a murder and beaten up brutally at the Karumalai Koodal police station on June 6 where he died. The policemen took the body to the Government Hospital in Mettur and later to the Super Specialty Hospital in Salem in the pretext of providing treatment, he said.
“The body bore injuries at many places,” he added.
After the news spread, relatives picketed the police station demanding action against the police personnel.
However, Superintendents of Police G. Subbulakshmi (Salem), M.R. Sibi Chakravarthy (Erode) and J. Loganathan (Dharmapuri) conducted a ‘katta panchayat’ (kangaroo court) at the police station and threatened the family and paid Rs. 12 lakh to them. “The paid money was collected from companies, persons who were involved in illegal business and also contributions from the police,” he claimed.
Mr. Poomozhi demanded that as per Supreme Court’s order and National Human Rights Commission guidelines, a murder case be registered against the policemen and wanted the CBI to probe into the case.
Also, to cover up the issue, the police illegally paid the money to the victim’s family.
“Senior police officials involved in the katta panchayats should be placed under suspension,” he demanded.
He also wanted action against police personnel who wanted the body to be cremated instead of burying. A re-postmortem should be conducted and the government should come out with a white paper on the issue, he added.
He also expressed doubt over whether the surveillance camera was removed from the police station during interrogation or was absent. Video clippings showing the family’s narration of events was also screened during the press meet.
The movement has already emailed the case details to NHRC, Mr. Poomozhi said.