Tamil Nadu police, which has drawn flak over two back-to-back custodial deaths in April and May 2022, is once again under fire after allegations that a person tortured in custody by the Kanniyakumari police consumed poison and died.
Opposition political parties including AIADMK, BJP, and human rights organisations have said that a detailed inquiry must be conducted on the allegations that custodial torture was the reason behind the suicide.
Family of the 22-year-old Ajith from Kulasekharam in Kanniyakumari district alleged that he died after consuming poison on June 25. The family alleged that he consumed poison after he was tortured at the Kulasekaram police station on June 23. Police said that Ajith was admitted to Kanniyakumari district hospital and he consumed poison on June 23 and died on Saturday. However, his father said that he had gone to Kulasekaram police station where he was tortured which led to his suicide.
A criminal case is registered under CrPc Section 174 and the police are investigating.
M. Kalaiselvam, Social activist and Director, Human Rights front of Kanniyakumari while speaking to IANS said: “The family of Ajith has petitioned that he was tortured to death at the Kulasekaram police station. A detailed probe has to be conducted and truth brought out.”
Kanniyakumari district police have, however, denied the allegations and in a statement, the DIG of Police, Tirunelveli range, Praveen Kumar said that there was no evidence of custodial torture and CCTV camera footage corroborated what exactly happened. The DIG also said that the deceased Ajith had come to the police station on June 23 and informed the police that he misplaced his mobile phone at the station. The statement said that he went back and later came to the station and was informed that he had consumed poison. DIG said that police rushed him to Kanniyakumari government hospital where he succumbed on June 25.
The opposition AIADMK and the BJP has also come out against the death of Ajith and have called for a detailed investigation.