Tamil Nadu police shooting: Two history-sheeters gunned down by Tambaram police following attack

There were four assailants who alighted from the car and charged towards the policemen with weapons. Two were killed and two more fled.

ByVinodh Arulappan

Published Aug 01, 2023 | 2:24 PMUpdatedAug 01, 2023 | 2:24 PM

History-sheeters Chota Vinodh (left) and Rajesh (right) who were killed in the incident. (Supplied)

Two history-sheeters, with allegedly long criminal records, were gunned down by the Tambaram City Police after they attacked a police sub-inspector during a vehicle check. The incident occurred on the outskirts of the city during the early hours of Tuesday, 1 August.

The police identified the deceased as 35-year-old Vinodh alias Chota Vinodh, and his accomplice, 32-year-old S Ramesh.

The incident

In the wee hours of Tuesday, while the police were performing vehicle checks on the Puducherry-Warangal Road near Karanai, the sub-inspector who was on duty signalled a Skoda car to stop. The car hit the police jeep and came to a halt.

Four assailants alighted from the car and charged towards the policemen with weapons.

Sub-Inspector (SI) Siva Gurunathan, while defending against the attack, sustained an injury to his left hand. Inspector of Police Murugesan, who was also present, came to the rescue of his subordinate. When the suspects tried to attack the inspector, he shot one of them with his service revolver.

Damaged cars and weapon used by the deceased. (Supplied)

The SI Gurunathan then shot another man, who tried to attack him again. The remaining two men fled the scene.

The police rushed the two injured people to the Chengalpattu government hospital where the doctors declared them “brought dead”, the police stated.

SI Gurunathan was admitted to the Chromepet government hospital for treatment.

A senior police officer said, “The SI managed to evade a lethal blow aimed at his head and shot at one of the attackers, while police inspector Murugesan, who was also part of the team checking vehicles, rushed to his colleague’s help and fired at another man.”

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About the deceased

The police identified the deceased as Vinodh, an A+ category history-sheeter in the Otteri police station with 50 cases registered against him, including 10 murder cases and 15 attempted murder cases.

S Ramesh, an A category history-sheeter, has 20 cases registered against him, including five murder cases and six attempted murder cases.

Senior police officials examined the spot where the criminals were shot and also visited the general hospital were they conducted an inquiry with the SI.

An FIR has been registered in the case of two encounter deaths at the Guduvanchery police station.

Police shootings this year

In February, a female SI, Meena, attached to the Chennai City Police, shot an accused below the knee.

In the same month, a member of the Coimbatore City Police paralysed two accused who were involved in a murder at a court complex. They were shot below the knee as well.

In July, the Chengalpattu police shot an accused, Ajay, who was involved in the murder of a PMK functionary.

Also Read: Suspect in PMK functionary’s murder injured in police firing

Supreme Court guidelines

The Supreme Court had laid down guidelines to follow after a police encounter:

  • Any intelligence or tip-off regarding criminal movements should be recorded in the Case Diary or in some electronic form.
  • An FIR must be registered in case of an encounter death.
  • An independent investigation into the encounter should be conducted by the CID or police team of another police station.
  • A magisterial inquiry under Section 176 must invariably be held in all cases of death that occur in the course of police firing.
  • Information about the incident must be sent to the NHRC or the State Human Rights Commission, as the case may be.
  • The injured criminal/victim should be provided medical aid and his/her statement recorded by the magistrate or medical officer.
  • Ensure no delay in sending FIR, diary entries, panchanamas, sketches, etc to the concerned court.
  • An investigation report should be sent to the competent court under Section 173.
  • In the event of death, the next of kin of the alleged criminal/victim must be informed at the earliest.
  • Six-monthly statements of all cases where deaths have occurred in police firing must be sent to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) by state Director General of Police.
  • If death occurs by the use of a firearm amounting to an offence under the Indian Penal Code, disciplinary action must be promptly initiated and the police personnel is placed under suspension.
  • Compensation to be granted to the dependents of the victim who suffered death in a police encounter.
  • The police officer(s) must surrender his/her weapons for forensic and ballistic analysis.
  • Information about the incident must also be sent to the police officer’s family and the services of a lawyer/counsellor must be provided.
  • No out-of-turn promotion or instant gallantry rewards shall be bestowed on the concerned officers soon after the occurrence.
  • If the family of a victim finds that the above procedure has not been followed, it may make a complaint to the Sessions Judge.

Also Read: Another case of custodial death in Tamil Nadu

National Human Rights Commission guidelines

Apart from the Supreme Court guidelines, the NHRC has also issued guidelines regarding encounters to all states and Union territories:

  • The police station in charge must appropriately register information about death in an encounter as soon as they come to know about it.
  • Immediate steps should be taken to investigate the facts and circumstances leading to the death of the accused.
  • Since the police themselves are involved in the encounter, the cases must be investigated by an independent agency, such as the state CID.
  • The investigation should be completed within four months. If the investigation results in prosecution, steps for a speedy trial must be taken.
  • Issues of granting compensation to the dependents of the deceased may be considered in cases ending in conviction.
  • An FIR must be registered under appropriate sections of the IPC when a complaint is filed against the police regarding a cognizable case of culpable homicide.
  • A magisterial enquiry must be conducted in all cases of deaths due to police action, preferably within three months.
  • All cases of deaths due to police action must be reported to the NHRC by the Senior Superintendent of Police/Superintendent of Police of the district within 48 hours of the occurrence of death.
  • A second report must be submitted to the NHRC within three months, providing information regarding the post-mortem report, inquest report, findings of the magisterial inquiry, and inquiry by senior police officers.

Also Read: Suspended IPS officer to appear before Human Rights Commission