The Tamil Nadu Police, which has faced flak after one of its IPS officers in Ambasamudram was accused of plucking accused’s teeth using iron pliers, is now facing another grave charge of alleged torture of janjatiya Irualas.
Two Irula janjatiyas, A.K. Appu (18) and his brother Kattappan (17) have alleged that they were tortured by the Villupuram police in mid-February 2023 in a theft case of which they had no knowledge.
The duo had alleged that they were brutally tortured by the police from February 25 to 28. They were beaten mercilessly and green chilly put in their eyes and private parts to force them to “confess” the theft.
Tribal activist Suresh Kumar while speaking to IANS said, “The police excesses against the Irular tribes is nothing new. If the police don’t get any culprits in a theft case or a criminal case and if the issue blows up, the police resort to picking some tribes and mostly Irulars and they are beaten and made to confess to crimes which they don’t know at all.”
Suresh, who works with the Centre for Policy and Development Studies, a think tank and human rights organisation, said that the Irulars are always at the receiving end.
Five other Irulars, who were working in a private brick kiln in Vanur taluk, were also picked up by the Katterikuppam police personnel and tortured in custody along with Appu and Kattappana.
Suresh Kumar alleged that the Irulars were forced to accept charges of theft cases filed at Kandamangalam and Mailam police stations in Villupuram district of Tamil Nadu. He said that in a similar vein, four theft cases were registered against the Irulars in Katterikuppam police station in Puducherry.
However, police sources told IANS that Mailam and Kandamangalam police stations have denied the charges. The police are of the opinion that these Irulars are involved in theft but human rights activists beg to differ.
Known human rights and tribal rights activist, Kalyani told media persons that none of these accused had any history of theft or criminal cases against them. The activist also pointed out that there were records of the presence of these people at brick kilns at the time of the alleged theft the police claimed to have been done by them.
(The story has been published via a syndicated feed with minor edits to conform to HinduPost style-guide.)