Editorial: Pluck them out

Those who had named ‘Sathan’kulam so must have been done it with the foresight of the recent incident in the southern town, in which a father-son duo were killed in a satanic way.

These brutal deaths, along with another one in Tenkasi and a couple of recent videos from Ambur and Coimbatore, clearly expose how some police personnel behave with the public, especially the vulnerable.

They are so power-drunk and are emboldened with the ‘support’ from the department, that the maximum punishment they would get is transfer to armed reserve wing or suspension. Even in this Sathankulam case, no policeman has been arrested so far and the accused cops have only been suspended and shifted. The only solace is that a CBI probe has been ordered.

The attitude of these policemen can be understood with the way they had behaved with a judicial officer. Kovilpatti Magistrate, deputed by the Madras High Court, sent a report to the Registrar complaining that police officials were doing everything in their command to prevent him from proceeding with the inquiry.

He alleged that police personnel were videographing magisterial proceedings, refusing to provide documents and a policeman used abusive phrases in Tamil to say judiciary could do nothing in the case. And, all these had happened after the Madras High Court suo moto took up the case, issued a stern message to the erring policemen and asked them not to underestimate the court.

Some of the policemen, it is learnt, were also inspired by cop stories in Tamil cinema. The protagonist of a super hit film, after saying ‘naan police illa porukki’, goes a step further in its sequel by mouthing ‘naan saami illa bootham’.

The title of another blockbuster police story itself is ‘Pokkiri’. The numero uno star, in his recent film, says in his typical style ‘I am a bad cop’.

In another popular flick, the hero’s name is Anbuselvan and he is an ‘encounter’ specialist. Anbu(llet)selvan, it must be.

It’s time for Tamil filmmakers and actors to behave responsibly. Coming back to the Sathankulam incident, Jeyaraj and and his son Bennicks had been booked for not closing their mobile shop in time on 19 June by the Sathankulam police.

They were sent to judicial custody and lodged in Kovilpatti jail on 21 June. Jeyaraj died on 22 June night and Bennicks on 23 June morning in the judicial custody, allegedly due to the police torture. This case and subsequent punishment should hopefully set a strict precedent. Erring police should think twice before doing such things.

 

NT Bureau