Tamil Nadu

Police instructed against custodial torture, says CM

Police personnel have been instructed not to psychologically or physically torture people who are taken to police stations for inquiries, and to follow the guidelines framed by the Supreme Court in this regard, Chief Minister M.K. Stalin said in the Assembly on Tuesday.

“Members of the House are aware of the swift steps taken over ‘lock-up deaths’ which happened recently. This government does not attempt to cover up anything. We have issued strong instructions to prevent lock-up deaths,” Mr. Stalin said.

Responding to the debate on the demand for grants for the Home Department, Mr. Stalin said there were eight custodial deaths in 2017, 12 in 2018, 11 in 2019, six in 2020, five last year and four so far this year. “These deaths cannot be justified under any government,” he said.

There should be no personal grudge while dealing with persons arrested by the police. Since most of the crimes are circumstantial, the police should put in efforts to make the accused realise their mistakes, he added.

“Even if one policeman committed a mistake somewhere, allegations would be made against this government. Even if we take action against him, the entire episode would be spoken of as if it is a blot on this government. So, all police personnel should function without giving any scope for such criticism,” he said.

It was only because law and order was being maintained well that industries which left Tamil Nadu earlier were returning to the State, he said.

The Chief Minister has instructed the police to control those looking to instigate violence on political, communal or caste lines, with an iron fist.

“Under this government, there has been no violence, caste-related clashes, communal clashes, shoot-outs or atrocities. This has been the government’s biggest achievement,” Mr. Stalin said.

Students falling for psychotropic substances was worrying, the Chief Minister said, and advised the police to stop the sale of gutkha and control its movement with an iron fist. Though 2,483 people who were detained under the Goondas Act were released under the erstwhile AIADMK government, the figure has come down under the current government, he said.

During the past one year, about 53% of criminal cases had been solved, and properties worth ₹144.03 crore had been recovered, the Chief Minister said. While 1,695 murders were reported between May 2020 and April 2021 under the erstwhile AIADMK government, the figure was 1,558 under the current government, he said.

A total of 146 cases of dacoity were reported between May 2020 and April 2021 under the AIADMK regime, whereas only 103 such cases were reported under his government, Mr. Stalin said. While 12,74,036 FIRs were registered during the last year of the AIADMK government, only 8,66,653 FIRs were registered under the DMK government, he said.

Countering the allegation made by Leader of the Opposition Edappadi K. Palaniswami that false cases were being filed against AIADMK members, Mr. Stalin said if that were true, cases would have been registered against them every other day.

“Freedom of expression has been ensured. Cases are registered only when people go beyond all bounds of decency. False cases are not being registered,” Mr. Stalin said.

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Printable version | Jun 24, 2022 12:35:47 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/police-instructed-against-custodial-torture-says-cm/article65401702.ece