Chennai: A policeman was arrested in western Tamil Nadu’s Salem district on Wednesday and booked on murder charges after a man on whom he publicly rained lathi blows died.
A farmer, Murugesan, had died in hospital hours after he was beaten by the Special Sub Inspector Periyasamy watched on by three constables, following an altercation at a check post on Tuesday evening. The victim was in a drunken state when the argument took place.
A video, shared on social media, showed Periyasamy repeatedly assaulting Murugesan with a lathi ignoring pleas to be let go.
According to preliminary investigation, Murugesan and two of his relatives had gone on a two-wheeler to neighbouring Kallakurichi district and were crossing the check post, when they were stopped by the policemen. On finding him drunk, the police seized the two-wheeler leading to an altercation. Following this the SSI attacked him repeatedly with a lathi though his relatives were pleading to stop.
The SSI stopped beating only after Murugesan fell on the road unconscious. All this was captured on a video by one of the relatives. Later they took him to a local hospital from where he was referred to the Salem Government Hospital where he died on Wednesday morning leading to a protest by his family members.
The incident brought back memories of the shocking death in custody of a trader Jeyaraj and his son Benicks, exactly a year ago, after police meted out third degree treatment to them at the Sattankulam police station in Thoothukudi district in south Tamil Nadu causing national outrage.
Chief Minister M K Stalin promised action against all those involved in the incident. The SSI was arrested and suspended.