Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin on Wednesday, 29 March, told the Assembly that he has ordered the authorities to suspend IPS officer Balveer Singh, who has been accused of custodial torture.
The assistant superintendent of police (ASP) of Ambasamudram in the Tirunelveli district allegedly brutalised a group of men picked up in connection with different cases.
The IPS officer and a few policemen reportedly assaulted the detainees ruthlessly and allegedly plucked their teeth using a plier in the Kallidaikurichi Police Station on Thursday, 23 March.
It was also alleged that the police officer crushed the testicles of two of the detainees.
Meanwhile, Leader of the Opposition Edappadi K Palaniswami — who was elected AIADMK general secretary just a day ago — raised the issue of the murder of an office-bearer of his party in Chennai days ago and demanded tough action.
He said that the functionary was hacked to death as he was against “ganja”.
Special motions from MLAs
Other MLAs moved special Call Attention Motions on the issue of the IPS officer and the death of the AIADMK functionary.
In response, Stalin said that the AIADMK functionary Elango’s murder had been attributed to previous enmity, and in this connection, five persons, including a juvenile, were arrested within two hours.
Following the allegation that the accused officer, serving as Assistant Superintendent of Police in Ambasamudram police sub-division in Tirunelveli District, had “damaged the teeth” of some men brought in for questioning, an inquiry by the sub-collector/sub-divisional magistrate had been ordered, the chief minister said.
The inquiry had commenced and Singh had been placed under vacancy reserve, he added.
Earlier, Inspector General of Police (South Zone) Asra Garg told South First: “We have ordered a detailed inquiry, based on which action will be taken against the errant police officials if the allegations are true. Meanwhile, we have relieved the ASP from duty.”
Recalling that he had already informed the House that the government would not make any compromises in case of allegations of violation of human rights during police custody, Stalin said he had ordered the suspension of ASP Balveer Singh accordingly.
In all such matters, swift action had been taken immediately, he added.
The chief minister assured the House that on receipt of the complete inquiry report on the matter, appropriate follow-up action would be taken.
Legislators including Esakki Subaya (who belongs to AIADMK, and represents Ambasamudram constituency), MH Jawahirullah (DMK), T Velmurugan (DMK) and VP Nagaimaali (CPI-M) spoke on the matter.
Velmurugan demanded a thorough probe, stating that it was being said that the allegations surfaced against the officer because he had reportedly taken steps to prevent illegal activities in his jurisdictional area.
Other legislators demanded that the officer be arrested and dismissed from service.
(With PTI inputs)