Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin said on Wednesday that he has ordered the suspension of Assistant Superintendent of Police Balveer Singh, following allegations of custodial torture against him. Singh, who was serving in the Ambasamudram police sub-division in Tirunelveli District, was accused of stuffing the mouths of six arrested men with metal and using cutting pliers to remove their teeth. The six men, five shopkeepers and an auto driver, were arrested for their involvement in an assault case. They accused Singh of crushing the testicles of a man, reported NDTV.
An inquiry into the matter has already been ordered by the sub-collector/sub-divisional magistrate. The six men are now out on bail. They said that Singh had changed into civilian clothes before torturing them. They also said that two other cops held their hands as Singh administered the “third-degree torture”.
The issue was raised in the Tamil Nadu Assembly by Leader of the Opposition Edappadi K Palaniswami, who also demanded tough action over the recent murder of an office-bearer of his party, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam. The functionary was reportedly hacked to death because he was against “ganja”. Five suspects, including a juvenile, were apprehended within two hours, and the Chief Minister dismissed claims that the murder was related to “ganja”.
Chief Minister Stalin assured the House that his government would not make any compromises in case of allegations of human rights violations in police custody. He added that swift action had been taken in all such matters and he would take appropriate follow-up action upon receipt of the complete inquiry report on the matter.
Legislators, including those from the DMK, AIADMK, and CPI-M, spoke on the issue, with some demanding a thorough probe into the allegations. Some others demanded that Singh be arrested and dismissed from service. DMK legislator, T Velmurugan, said that the allegations surfaced against Singh because he had reportedly taken steps to prevent illegal activities in his jurisdictional area.