Poovarasan breaks down in front of the media at the Press Club in the city on Saturday | P Ravikumar
CHENNAI: Nearly nine months have passed but the scars of police torture continue to haunt Poovarasan as CB-CID is allegedly going slow on the case after filing an FIR directed by Madras High Court.
Poovarasan, a Dalit youth, was illegally detained and tortured by police inspector Kandiban of Kaveripakkam police station, Arakkonam taluk, Vellore district along with Mohan, special sub inspector and constables Sundar and Velmurugan on September 2014 after he allegedly protested entry of lorries into Athipattu village to reach sand quarries.
“Four months ago the case was handed over to CB-CID on the directive of Madras High Court, who also orderd an FIR to be registered against the four policemen. Apart from filing of FIR, no action has been taken against the policemen. They continue to enjoy their office and discharge their duties,” said V Suresh, national general secretary, People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL).
Poovarasan while recounting the horrors of torture broke down while stating how he was stripped and beaten after being taken into police custody while protesting against the entry of lorries through his village.
Interestingly, it is not only Poovarasan who highlighted the attitude of the policemen after protesting against sand mining on Palar River. Even Kalathur village in Vellore district faced the ire of sand mining contractors when they protested against setting up a sand quarry in Sankaranpadi-Kalathur area.
Rights activists during a press meet demanded that it was time the government gave an assurance in writing that sand quarry would not be set up at Sankarapandi-Kalathur area. They also demanded that alleged false cases booked against protestors on instigation by sand mining contractors should be withdrawn besides Kalathur people should be given protection from sand mining contractors.
Suresh also demanded adequate compensation for victims of police brutality. “Policemen joining hands with sand smugglers should be immediately transferred from the area, pending investigation,” Suresh demanded.