Tamil Nadu

Family loses its breadwinner to lathi blows

Murugesan’s nephew said he had captured the incident on his phone to bring out the police brutality and truth. Photo: Special Arrangement  

“We have not only lost our breadwinner, but the future of all my three children,” said an inconsolable Annakili, wife of A. Murugesan, who died after being caned by a special sub-inspector, as she waited at the Salem Government Mohan Kumaramangalam Medical College and Hospital on Wednesday.

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Recalling the incident, she said Murugesan had left home at 3 p.m. on Tuesday and within hours she was informed by relatives that police had assaulted him. “When I saw him at the Attur Government Hospital, he was unconscious with injuries on the head, and doctors said that his condition was unstable,” she said.

T. Sivan Babu, 33, and R. Shankar, 23, nephews of Murugesan, said they were returning from Karumandurai on a two-wheeler, along with the victim, on Tuesday evening. Mr. Sivan told The Hindu that the SSI intercepted the vehicle and asked why they were moving around during the lockdown.

He asked them to park the vehicle and then grabbed the key.

“Murugesan got angry and questioned the SSI,” Mr. Sivan said and added that the SSI started attacking Murugesan. When Murugesan said he would call his uncle for help, the SSI attacked again, making him fall on the road,” he alleged.

Mr. Sivan said that one policeman sprinkled water on Murugesan’s face, but he did not respond.

“Policemen asked us to move Murugesan to the roadside, but we refused,” he said and added that after an hour they moved Murugesan in their two-wheeler to the Primary Health Centre at Thumbal.

Later, Murugesan was taken to the Attur Government Hospital in an ambulance by 10 p.m., where doctors said that his condition was critical.

“Since doctors said that even treating him at a private hospital may not save his life, we moved him to the Salem Government Hospital by 5 a.m. on Wednesday where the doctors declared him brought dead,” he said.

Mr. Sivan also alleged that the SSI had pushed him on the road, which led to the head injury. He said he had captured the incident on his mobile phone to bring out the police brutality and the truth.

The couple have three children — Jeyapriya, 18, Jeyabrindha, 12, and Kavipriyan, 13.

The family runs a petty shop in Edayappatti village and the income is inadequate to meet their daily food needs. “Action should be taken against the policemen involved in the murder,” said Ms. Annakili.

Ms. Jeyapriya, who has just joined her first-year college, said that her father died only because of the inhuman treatment of the policeman and sought stringent action against him.

“The family took a lot of pain in educating and bringing up the two girls and the boy. But now the entire burden is on her (Annakili),” said a relative of the family waiting at the local police station.

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Printable version | Jul 31, 2021 2:58:06 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/family-loses-its-breadwinner-to-lathi-blows/article34941480.ece

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