New IG for South Zone, Thoothukudi SP shifted

Chennai: As the father-son duo custodial deaths allegedly due to police brutality in Sathankulam created a political furore and sent shock waves across the country, the Tamilnadu government today shunted out incumbent Superintendent of Police (SP) and posted a new SP for Tuticorin district.

An official release here said Villupuram District SP S Jeyakumar was transferred and posted as Tuticorin District SP in place of Arun Balagopalan, who was brought to the compulsory wait at the office of the Director General of Police.

The release said the government also transferred and posted EOW IG Dr S Murugan as the new South Zone IG in place of Mr K P Shanmuga Rajeswaran, who is retiring on superannuation today.

The shifting of Tuticorin SP comes in the backdrop of the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court initiating suo motu contempt proceedings after a constable in the Sathankulam station made disparaging remarks against the Judicial Magistrate, probing the custodial deaths of Jayaraj and his son Benicks.

After Arun Balagopalan ordered en masse transfer of all the police personnel in Sathankulam station last evening, Additional SP D Kumar, DSP C Prathapan and constable Maharajan were placed under suspension today, after Judges P N Prakash and B Pugalendhi, during the contempt proceedings observed that unless the State government intervene immediately and transfer the trio it would be very difficult for a free and fair probe into the deaths.

When the three appeared before the court today in compliance with the summons, the Judges said based on the post mortem report, which revealed several wounds on the bodies of the deceased, and on the report of the Judicial Magistrate, there was prima facie ground for registering cases against the police personnel involved in the brutality.