Mukesh, Vasanth, Vikki and Mohan from Kannagi Nagar had gone to Pudupettai to attend a family function on the 12th of October, 2016. Early next morning, all four of them went near the Coovum river to relieve themselves when police officials from the Egmore police station spotted the boys and started questioning them. What started as a casual interrogation turned violent as soon as the boys replied that they were from Kannagi Nagar. In an attempt to escape the aggressive policemen, the boys began to run. The policemen chased them and one official is alleged to have thrown a stone at Mukesh’s head, which resulted in a severe head injury. The policemen also threw stones at Vikki and Mohan. Vasanth was caught and arrested by the officials.
Sources say this wasn’t the first attack on Mukesh and his friends. On the 10th of March, 2016, a team of eight police officials in civilian clothing went to Mukesh’s house around 11pm and forced him to accompany them to a bridge near a metro station and beat him brutally.
Mukesh’s family allege that the authorities released him later saying they mistook him for another individual. The police then dropped Mukesh back to his house in Kannagi Nagar without any medical attention.
As a sign of protest against the unwarranted attack on her son, Mukesh's mother, Sumathi, gave in a written complaint to the police commissioner of Chennai on the 12th of March. Based on the complaint, the head constable of the Crime Branch, Mr. Saravanan, Mr. Senthil from the Home Guard police, and friends of a one Mr. Dhanapal were suspended by the commissioner of police.
After the attack on Mukesh and his friends on the 12th of October, Mukesh’s body was found near the Coovum river by his parents. Mukesh's parents allege that police officials chased Mukesh, beat him and pushed him into the river.
The Chennai city police functions under a DGP rank senior police officer; in the recent past a rather worrying trend of custodial deaths have been recorded. On the 22nd of September, Mr. Karthik died at the Kannagi Nagar police station. (Find The Report On Karthik’s Custodial Death Here _______________ )
From these recent incidents it has become rather clear that the Chennai police department is not functioning as per section 41 of the Criminal Code of Procedure Act and not following the guidelines by the Apex Court framed in the Arnesh Kumar case in 2014. We, at People's Watch, condemn the efforts of senior police officers to protect subordinates within the department.
People’s Watch strongly condemns these unlawful arrests, custodial deaths and torture that is taking place in Tamil Nadu.
We urge the government of Tamil Nadu
- To take legal action and the register criminal cases against the police officials who are responsible for Mukesh's death under sections 176(1)(A) of the Criminal Code of Procedure.
- These cases must be investigated by a Judicial Magistrate and the policemen responsible for these illegal and deviant behaviour must be suspended during the period of investigation.
- The National Human Right Commission should take these cases as suo motto and launch a thorough investigation into the case.
- To pay a minimum of 20 lakhs rupees to Mukesh’s family immediately as compensation.