The Crime Branch-Criminal Investigation Department (CB-CID) in Tamil Nadu has registered FIR against suspended Ambasamudram ASP Balveer Singh and his team for allegedly pulling teeth from accused persons and using third-degree tactics on them. The incident reportedly occurred in March 2023 when the accused were brought to the Ambasamudram police station in Tirunelveli.
A case has been registered against the policemen after the incident came to light and caught public attention. The Director General of Police transferred the police officer, and a departmental inquiry was initiated. He was suspended later. The Chief Minister had also expressed displeasure over the matter.
Singh is a Rajasthan-native and had been posted as an ASP in Ambasamudram, Tirunelveli from 15 October 2022. He had previously studied at IIT Bombay. Details available reveal that in March this year, a person named Surya had created a disturbance by breaking a CCTV camera installed in the Jameen Singampatti area, and Singh caught him. He then extracted Surya's teeth at the police station. In another case, police officers detained more than six people following a minor scuffle between two parties.
One of the victims, Chinappa, alleged that Singh came to them wearing gloves and a track suit, thrust stones into their mouths, and then proceeded to break their teeth with the stones. One victim said that Singh crushed his newly married brother Mariyappan's testicles and tortured him relentlessly. Mariyappan was unable to eat for several days. The victim put his statement on social media, which drew public attention to the incident. Chief Minister Stalin ordered strict action against the officer, after which authorities registered a case against the officer and his team under Sections 323, 324, 326, and 506 (i) of the Indian Penal Code, 3 (1) (e), 3 (2) (v), 3 (2) (VA) of the Scheduled Castes, and Scheduled Tribes (Atrocities Prevention) Act. They also registered a case under section 75 of the Juvenile Justice Act.
According to sources, the CB-CID summoned around ten custodial torture victims, including a Scheduled Caste youth, to produce their medical records for examination. This is the second case filed against Singh and his team at the CB-CID. The first case was filed on the complaint of E Subhash, who alleged that his three teeth were broken, at the Kalladaikurichi police station.
Henry Tiphagne, executive director of People's Watch, which is helping the victims in this case, has alleged that the denial of the FIR copy to the SC complainant is a violation of 15A(9) of the SC/ST (PoA) Act. Tiphagne also accused the police department and the investigating officer appointed by the state government of being non-transparent from the beginning.
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