An IPS officer in Tamil Nadu was suspended after he was accused of custodial torture by allegedly crushing the testicles and pulling out the teeth of suspects. Chief Minister MK Stalin today told the state assembly that he has ordered the authorities to suspend Balveer Singh.
"I've ordered his suspension. Further action will be taken after the report from the magisterial enquiry. There is no place for compromise on human rights violations at police stations," announced Mr Stalin, responding to a Call Attention Motion in the Tamil Nadu assembly.
Yesterday, the police had put Mr Singh under compulsory wait.
Around ten days ago, the 2020 batch IPS officer, who was posted as an Assistant Superintendent of Police at Ambasamudram in Tirunelveli district, had allegedly pulled out the teeth of five men with a cutting plier and also crushed the testicles of a newly married man who's said to be critical. The men, accused in an assault case, are out on bail. A few of them took to social media to accuse the officer of custodial torture.
The District Collector has already ordered a magisterial inquiry against Mr Singh. Human rights defenders, however, say this is not enough. The police, they say, ought to have filed a criminal case against him.
In 2020, a father and son (Jayaraj and Benicks) died after alleged custodial torture at the Sathankulam police station in the neighbouring Tuticorin district. Henri Tiphagne, executive director of People's Watch - a non-profit working against human rights violations - said, "We need to ensure a criminal case is registered against him and actions initiated". Speaking on the alleged lapse on the part of the magistrate, he added, "How did the judicial magistrate remand these accused with such gross marks of torture all over their body? How do we understand the failure of the remand advocate system of the national legal services authority followed by the Tamil Nadu legal services authority?"
"Why do magistrates undertake such remands brought to them at home at the middle of the night? What prevents them from saying bring them tomorrow morning 10 AM," he asked.
Human rights violations by law enforcers, many say, appear to continue even after the court-mandated installation of CCTV cameras at police stations following the alleged custodial torture deaths in Sathankulam.