In a major reshuffle, 39 senior police officers in Tamil Nadu were transferred on Tuesday. While four cities have got new police chiefs, fresh postings have also been given to two senior policemen, who were put on "compulsory wait" by the Madras High Court on Tuesday for trying to block investigations into the deaths of a father and son in Tuticorin amid allegations of torture by cops.
Mahesh Kumar Aggarwal has been appointed as the Commissioner of Police for Chennai. Outgoing Commissioner A K Viswanathan will be the Additional Director General of Police-Operations in the city.
Prem Anand Sinha will be Madurai's new police chief. He was Law and Order Additional Commissioner in South Chennai. Outgoing Commissioner S Davidson Devasirvatham would be Additional Director General of Police-Technical Services in Chennai.
Dr Loganathan has been appointed as Trichy Police Commissioner and G Karthikeyan as the police chief of Tiruppur city.
While the fresh postings come amid controversy over the Tuticorin custodial deaths, a senior officer told NDTV: "These are routine transfers and promotions were long overdue. Many officers have retired too. These transfers aren't over the Tuticorin incident at all."
Two officers linked to intimidation and non-cooperation complaints by the magistrate probing the custodial deaths have also been given fresh postings.
In what's being a seen as a collision course with the Madras High Court's criminal contempt proceedings, Assistant Superintendent of Police D Kumar will be posted as the Prohibition Enforcement Wing.
C Prathaban has been moved to the "anti-land grabbing special cell". Both had appeared before the court on Tuesday. An officer, who did not want to be named, said: "Technically the court had suggested transfer and the government has done it."
The Madras High Court was told on Tuesday by a magistrate that they tried to derail his inquiry into the custodial deaths of Jeyaraj and his son Beniks in Santhankulam, Tuticorin, which has triggered widespread outrage.
Jeyaraj and Beniks were arrested in Tuticorin on June 19 for keeping their mobile phone shop open 15 minutes beyond curfew. After Jeyaraj was taken away by the police, his son, who reached the police station, was also arrested. The two were allegedly beaten and tortured and suffered wounds so severe that they died on June 22, within hours of each other.
The Jeyaraj-Beniks deaths have triggered a campaign for justice and action against the policemen involved.
Yesterday, the government had replaced Superintendent of Police of Tuticorin Arun Balagopalan with S Jeyakumar as the government drew flak from the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court that said there is enough ground for murder case against the district police, on the basis of post mortem reports.