Chennai: A Sub-inspector of Police in Coimbatore in Western Tamil Nadu was transferred to the Armed Reserve wing after a video clip of him randomly welding a lathi at staff and patrons at a restaurant went viral. The State Human Rights Commission was quick to act and issue notice to the Coimbatore City Commissioner of Police seeking a report on the incident within two weeks.
The Sub-inspector, Muthu, attached to the Kattoor Police Station had attacked the staff and customers including a woman saying the restaurant cannot function at night in view of the restrictions imposed to contain the spread of COVID-19.
However, as per rules, the restaurants must wind up business only by 11 pm, Muthu had attacked the staff a little past 10.20 pm on Sunday. The medium-scale Sri Raja Hotel is located in Gandhipuram, a busy commercial junction from where people also board long-distance inter-district buses.
The incident was caught on the restaurant's CCTV camera with date and time imprint making it easy for its owner Mohanraj to lodge a complaint. Mohanraj said that a police constable came to the hotel at 10 pm and demanded the hotel down its shutter as Kattoor Inspector (law and order) Latha would come on night rounds.
The restaurant then rolled down its shutter to half, serving only customers who were already inside including five women.
Mohanraj said at 10:21 pm Muthu came to the hotel and began beating up the staff and customers without provocation. A woman customer was also injured.
Coimbatore MP Natarajan demanded that a case be registered against the policeman. Makkal Needhi Maiam leader Kamal Haasan tweeted wondering if the incident was reminiscent of Sattankulam custodial deaths of a trader and his son last year