Chennai: The State Human Rights Commission has directed the government to pay a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the wife of a person who was shot dead in a fake encounter by four policemen in Virudhunagar district in 2009. The commission also recommended that the government should suspend them immediately and initiate disciplinary action against them.
In the petition, S. Vasanthi submitted that her husband Sundaramurthy had not appeared before a court for the hearing. A non-bailable warrant was issued against him and the Sivakasi Town police personnel and other police teams were on the lookout for him.
On July 28, 2009, at about 7.15 pm when he was standing near Thiruthangal Kamaraj statue, the police personnel took him in their jeep. Later, a policeman demanded a bribe of Rs 5 lakh for his release. The policeman also threatened her that if she did not pay the bribe her husband would be killed. Her relative, Thenraj, found her husband handcuffed and kept in the police station. When she went to the police station, the police personnel demanded money.
Thereafter at about 11.30 pm she received a phone call from her uncle, Karuthapandi, who stated that her husband had been shot dead by the police. She found a number of bullet injuries on his chest, throat and right shoulder. She suspected that he was killed in a fake encounter and if her husband had attempted to escape after assaulting the police, the injuries should have been found only on the back of his body. Her husband was shot dead by Radhakrishnan, then Inspector of Police, Kamaraj, then constable, Siva, then constable and V. Karunakaran, then constable of Sivakasi East Police Station. In the petition, she sought action against the police personnel for killing him in a fake encounter.
Denying the allegations, the policemen stated that Sundaramurthy was involved in many criminal cases. He was arrested and produced before a magistrate.
Before detaining him at the prison, Sundaramurthy had been engaged in a fight with the escort police and grabbed musket rifles from the constable and tried to overpower them. Later, he had tried to run away. Constable Kamaraj opened fire at Sundaramurthy thrice. He was brought dead to the hospital.
SHRC judge D. Jayacha-ndran said the commission was of the opinion that the police had already decided to kill Sundaramurthy in the name of an encounter. Sundaramurthy was shot dead in a fake encounter and the use of force by the police was not justified and the action taken was unlawful. The DGP and the other officers did not take any action immediately but had transferred the case to CB CID. A judicial magistrate's enquiry was not conducted in the matter.
The judge directed the government to pay a compensation of `10 lakh to Vasanthi and recommended that the government suspend Radhakrishnan, Kamaraj, Siva and V. Karunakaran immediately and initiate disciplinary proceedings against them....