Deceased’s elder brother has alleged that police indirectly paid the victim’s family to pacify them and settle the case.
New Delhi: With every passing day, new revelations are coming up in the case related to the custodial death of 25-year-old Vignesh, a person from a Scheduled Caste community who used to work as a horse rider at Marina Beach in Chennai with the deceased’s elder brother alleging that the Tamil Nadu police indirectly paid Rs 1 lakh to the victim’s family to pacify them and settle the case.
Locals and relatives also alleged that Tamil Nadu administration also did not allow many people to attend the funeral of the victim. The state administration and the Tamil Nadu police are facing the heat over the issue since four days not only from the family of the deceased but also from the human rights activists of the state who have raised the matter with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) over the mysterious conduct of the police and sought a probe on the issue.
The Chennai police claimed that officials from the G5 Secretariat police station stopped an auto in which Vignesh and Suresh were travelling near Kellys area on 18 April. When the police searched them, they were found with ganja, liquor bottles and a knife. The police claimed that the two men panicked and tried to attack the cops after which the police had to overpower them and take them to the G5 Secretariat police station. The Tamil Nadu police also said that the duo had injury marks on their body and in the police station Vignesh developed health complications and had a seizure and passed away on the way to the hospital.
The family of Vignesh had outrightly rejected the version of Tamil Nadu police and alleged that the case is of custodial death. As the deceased belongs from a Scheduled Caste community, the alleged custodial death from the hands of Tamil Nadu police will also be probed under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. The family of Vignesh had urged the Chief Minister M.K. Stalin to punish the guilty and raised serious question marks over the rule of law and justice in the state. His brother Vinod was quoted as saying: “I want to tell the Chief Minister that this should not happen to anyone. Neither to well-off people nor to poor people like us. Is there no humanity? For poor people like us, look at how he is beaten. If he committed a thousand mistakes, punish him, how can he be beaten to death? Will you beat a deputy commissioner or commissioner to death? If we were well-off people, we could have created a huge ruckus. Four of us were kept in different corners. There were four sub inspectors with us the whole time. We were not allowed to speak to anyone, not even to each other. We weren’t allowed to make calls. We were not allowed to talk to you also, just because there is no one to speak up for us.”