False Accusation of Making Toddy and Custodial torture of Elango belonging to Dalit Community (Code: TN-VPM-2014-015, Date: 26-Jan-2014 )

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Case Title

Case primary details

Case posted by Social Awareness Society for Youths
Case code TN-VPM-2014-015
Case year 26-Jan-2014
Type of atrocity Counter case against Dalit/Adivasi
Whether the case is being followed in the court or not? Yes

Fact Finding

Fact finding date

Fact finding date Not recorded

Case Incident

Case Incident details

Case incident date 26-Jan-2014
Place Village: Not recorded
Taluka:Not recorded
District: Villupuram(DP)
State: Tamil Nadu
Police station Brammadesam
Complaint date 19-Mar-2014
FIR date 31-Dec-1969

Case brief

Case summary

False Accusation of Making Toddy and Custodial torture of Elango belonging to

Dalit Community

Elango (41) s/o Aegambaram, resident of Anthur village, Tindivanam Taluk, Villupuram district, belongs to Dalit Paraiyar community. He and his wife Lakshmi (35) are daily wage labourers. One year back, Elango used to make Toddy. But he stopped making toddy due to the strict warnings and advises of the Brahmadesam Police station officials. He is also a member of the political party named Viduthalai Chiruthaihal Katchi (VCK). He has two sons namely Vignesh (20) and Dinesh (18).

On 26/01/2014, around 2 am while Elango, his wife and his son Dinesh were asleep in their house, 5 Brahmadesam Police officials came to his house and knocked the door. When he and his wife opened the door, Police Aathimulam, told that they received information that he was making toddy (liquor) in his land. Elango denied the charge and said that he stopped making toddy for the last one year, as he received strict prohibitory warnings from the Police department. Elango again told, for your confirmation you can come and see the place, if you find me guilty, you can register case against me. The Police agreed to the plan. Elango wore his shirt and he boarded the police vehicle to show them the direction to his agricultural field. Instead of taking him to his agricultural field, the police men drove him to the police station. When Elango asked them to drive to vehicle to his field, Athimulam kicked him and told him to meet the Inspector in the police station. Fearing further assault, Elango remained silent. On reaching the police station, they asked Elango to sleep at the station jail.

On around 6 am, Inspector Senthil Kumar woke Elango by kicking him, saying getup you bugger, how dare you sleep at the police station? On confirming his name, Inspector Senthil said, you won’t learn your lessons unless you are beaten with the lathi. He asked Aathimulam to bring a lathi. Again he enquired Elango whether he is associated with VCK Political party. When Elango told he is a member of the VCK party, Inspector started beating him on his knees. When he screamed due to pain, Senthil again beaten him saying, you paraiya son of prostitute! Are you calling you party members? No one can do nothing to him, they can’t even pluck my hair. He again started beating him over his thighs, knees and hands. Elango objected to this assault, denying those false charges. Inspector Senthil asked him to shut his mouth and said that he will bring Ganja from his home town Vellore and keep those Ganjas in his house and implicate and make him to be imprisoned forever for Ganja selling charges. Inspector again beaten him over his hands. He boastfully said that, while I was working in Thiruvannamalai, I brutally assaulted one tribal youth. Many Dalit activists staged protests and procession seeking action against me, but nothing happened to me. They can’t even pull a single hair of me. What you could do to me? Again he has beaten Elango with the lathi over his hips and legs.

Elango was charged under FIR No. 37/2014 u/s 4(1-A), 4(1)(a) of TNP Act, 1937. Around 7.30 am Elango’s brother Bharathi came to the police station and enquired the police that, Why you have beaten my brother? He is not selling arrack. Why you arrested him in the midnight? Inspector Senthil replied that Since Elango committed a crime, we have beaten him. Inspector warned Bharathi that he can’t speak like this in the police station. Bharathi told that he will refer this atrocity to the Deputy Superintendent of Police. As soon as Bharathi left the station Inspector Senthil again beaten Elango in his thighs.  By 8 am Police men brought breakfast for Elango. When Elango told that he would like to brush the teeth, Inspector asked whether your party leader Thol. Thirumavalavan is brushing his teeth regularly? He kicked him with his shoes saying you won’t die if you have breakfast without brushing the teeth. What your brother will do to me? Paraiyas are good at rearing goats and buffaloes. How dare your brother will argue with sitting on par with me? Inspector threatened him saying, if you disobey my words, I will shoot you to death alleging that I shot you as you tried to escape. Fearing further retribution, Elango ate the breakfast.

Around 9 pm, When Elango complained about severe pain in the hands due to the beatings, he was taken to the Tindivanam Government Hospital. In the hospital the doctors have not enquired about his health and have not provided any medicine for the pain. When Elango complained about the pain to the doctor, the doctor ignored and said there is nothing to worry. Then Inspector Senthil took him to the Judicial Magistrate and threatened him that you should remain silent. If the Judge enquired about the case, you should say that this is regarding Ganja case. Inpector Senthil threatened him saying that, If you say to the Judge that I (Inspector Senthil) have beaten you, then I will ensure that you will remain in the jail by filing grave false cases against you. Elango had a plan to tell the truth that he has no connection with the Ganja case. But Inspector Senthil himself spoke to the Judge and then imprisoned him in the Tindivanam Sub Jail. When the Jail warden told the Inspector about the Injury and pain of Elango, the Inspector asked him to provide some tablets.

FINDINGS:

1. When Elangovan was asleep in his house, 5 Police men from the Brahmadesam Police station arrested him without any warrant making false allegation of selling arracks. They took him to the police station at midnight 2am on 26/01/2014.

2. Elangovan was remanded in police custody and was verbally and physically abused. He was not allowed to attend the natural call and was abused for seeking permission to brush his teeth. He was subject to severe beatings with a lathi. He was denied proper medical treatment and assistance.

3. VCK political party leader Thol. Thirumavalavan was referred derogatory who was held respectful by the Dalit community.

4. Elangovan was not given permission to present himself before the Judge and to express his stand on the accused case. Inspector threatened Elangovan not to reveal this torture to the Judge and threatened him that he will file false cases against him and put him behind bars forever. Elangovan’s security is under threat.

RECOMMENDATIONS

1. Law and order department should revoke the charges filed under FIR No. 37/2014 u/s 4(1-A) and 4(1)(a) of TNP Act, 1937, against Elangovan.

2. Police department should order for an enquiry by an officer of the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police into the wrongful allegations and accusations; illegal arrest and custodial torture of Elangovan belongs to Dalit Community.

3. Inspector Senthil and Constable Athimulam who were involved in this abuse of power and who subjected Elangovan to physical and mental torture at the police station, should be implicated for the abuse of power and should be suspended from the service.

4. Monetory compensation and legal counseling should be provided to Elangovan as per the provisions of the SC/ST PoA Act, 1989.

5. District administration and the police department should ensure provision of protection to Elangovan and his family members from any harm from Inspector Senthil and Constable Aathimulam.

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