THOOTHUKUDI: Five days after the alleged custodial death of the two traders, Tirunelveli DIG Praveen Kumar Abinapu placed former Sathankulam Inspector Srithar under suspension. So far, five policemen were suspended in the case.
In connection with the ‘custodial death’ of P Jeyaraj and his son Beniks, police higher-ups, on June 23, suspended four policemen, including Sub-Inspectors Ragu Ganesh and Balakrishnan, and Constables Murugan and Muthuraj. Inspector Srithar was transferred and placed on the waiting list. On June 28, DIG Abinapu ordered suspension of Srithar for the inquiry in connection with the ‘custodial torture’ case.
The family of the deceased had been demanding for the suspension of the inspector. The opposition parties had raised suspicions whether the inspector was being protected. Inspector Bernad Xavier has been appointed to Sathankulam police station following suspension of Srithar, according to DIG’s office.
The incident is not a case of custodial deaths as the traders died at Kovilpatti GH, said Minister for Information and Publicity Kadambur C Raju. “Only if a victim gets beaten up and dies at a police station, it is a lockup death,” he said. He also said Kanimozhi’s statements were for political mileage. Responding, Kanimozhi tweeted “All deaths under custody of police or judiciary are custodial deaths. Is the minister saying there was no torture in lockup? “How can we expect justice from this government?” After his comments came under criticism, Raju said his statements were twisted purposely.