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Chennai custodial death: Three cops booked for murder, says CM Stalin

Stalin’s statement in the Assembly came after Leader of Opposition Edappadi K Palaniswami moved the special call of motion over the incident.

By: Express News Service | Chennai |
May 6, 2022 4:55:56 pm
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin addresses the state Assembly. (Twitter @mkstalin)

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin on Friday said that three police personnel, who were initially suspended by the department in connection with the murder of a 25-year-old man, have been booked for murder and further enquiry will be initiated against them.

Stalin’s statement in the Assembly came after Leader of Opposition Edappadi K Palaniswami moved the special call of motion over the incident. The AIADMK members walked out of the Assembly demanding CBI probe in this case.

Stain informed the Assembly that the post-mortem of Vignesh was carried out in the presence of the magistrate on April 20 and it has been video recorded. He said three officers were suspended and the case was transferred to CB-CID. The government has been taking all measures in connection with the case, he said.

“Vignesh’s post-mortem report has noted there were 13 bruises on his body as pointed out by the Leader of Opposition.  Based on this, the case has been altered as a murder case and instructions have been provided to CB-CID to carry out the probe,” Stalin said.

Addressing reporters at the Secretariat, Palaniswami said that Stalin had earlier said in the Assembly that both Vignesh and his friend Suresh were provided breakfast on April 19 morning and Vignesh had suffered seizures and vomiting.

“The Chief Minister said Vignesh was first taken to a private hospital and for further treatment, he was taken to Kilpauk Government Hospital where he was declared dead on arrival. However, the autopsy report of Vignesh shows that he has been brutally attacked and suffered 13 injuries including some of them on his face. The report presented by the Chief Minister in the Assembly and the autopsy report is contradictory. The Chief Minister now says the case has been altered to a murder case, how can we trust our own police officers to probe this case in a fair manner? Hence, we demanded the Chief Minister to shift the case to CBI,” he said.

The back story

On April 18, the Secretariat Colony Police detained Vignesh and his friend Suresh who were traveling in an auto-rickshaw for allegedly possessing ganja near Kellys signal in the city. The police claimed that Vignesh attempted to attack them with a knife and they managed to escape. Later, both were taken to the Secretariat Colony police station.

According to the statement issued by the police, on April 19, Vignesh was declared dead on arrival when the police took him to a hospital claiming he had vomited after eating breakfast and suffered a seizure.

Vignesh’s family claimed he died as a result of police brutality and alleged that they were being paid Rs 1 lakh to keep mum on the issue. Opposition parties jumped in and demanded the government take action against the officers.

Stalin then announced a solatium of Rs 10 lakh to Vignesh’s kin and said the government would bear Suresh’s medical expenses and transferred the case to CB-CID. A sub-inspector, a constable and a home guard were placed under suspension.

A few days ago, unverified CCTV footage surfaced online purportedly showing Vignesh running on a road, falling down and being beaten up by two policemen. The footage has, once again, sparked a debate on custodial torture in the state.

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