Chennai: Directing the state government to pay compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the mother of a youth killed in a fake encounter a decade ago, the State Human Rights Commission observed, “Custodial violence is anathema in any civilized society. Law enforcement agencies, particularly police, should make a conscious effort to banish this evil practice from their organizations. Till this is done, police will not earn the respect and co-operation of the public and find a honourable place for themselves in society.”
Disposing of petitions filed by Devi, mother of the victim and the Madurai based People’s Watch, SHRC judge D. Jayachandran said that a sustained publicity campaign should be undertaken to educate people and police about the sanctity of human rights. This should be a positive campaign and not a negative one to denigrate police.
In her petition, Devi of Maruthanallur village, Thanjavur district submitted that her son Mithun was a gold medallist in B Sc degree course in 2004. They had a land dispute with their relatives C.J.Rajendran and Srinivasan, an inspector. Based on the instigation of Srinivasan, Papanasam police station inspector, Siva Baskar, Peravoorani police station inspector, S.Ganesamoorthy and Thiruppananthal police station SI R.Bharanidharan registered cases against Mithun repeatedly and launched a hunt to arrest him.
On April 1, 2008, an advocate informed the family that police had arrested Mithun. On April 3, family members came to know that police had shot Mithun dead in a fake encounter. She said that police caught him on April 1 and falsely stated that they had shot him dead after he attempted to attack police with weapons and a bomb on the Thanjavur by-pass Pattukottai road on April 3. Instead of an enquiry by a judicial magistrate as per norms, a probe by an RDO was conducted.
In their replies, Siva Baskar, Ganesamoorthy and Bharanidharan denied all the averments made in the complaints. Mithun was involved in many criminal cases including murder cases, they said. A police team was searching for him and when they tried to secure him, Mithun threw a country bomb at them and assaulted Siva Baskar. In order to save their lives, they had opened fire.
SHRC judge D. Jayachandran directed government to pay a compensation of `5 lakh to Devi. Recommending a CB-CID probe in the matter, the judge directed government to initiate disciplinary action against Siva Baskar, Ganesamoorthy and Bharanidharan. He also directed government to initiate disciplinary proceeding against inspector Venkatesan who was working in the Thanjavur East police station during the relevant period.