The death of Jeyaraj and Bennix, after they were arrested by the Santhankulam police for keeping their shops open violating the lockdown norms, invited criticism from all the quarters and the Tamil Nadu Milk Dealers’ Welfare Association announced that they will not supply milk to the houses of police personnel citing the police brutality.
Since then, anonymous messages threatening the milk vendors were doing rounds on social media. M Sathish Muthu, an Armed Reserve constable attached to Greater Chennai Police, also vented his anger on the criticism against the police department and commented on a social media post on milk vendors’ decision, saying that they (the police dept) were looking for next victims of custodial death and are happy to have found one. The post went on to ridicule the way the father and son were allegedly tortured to death.
His comment went viral and was taken up to senior officials’ notice. It is said that an inquiry was held and the constable allegedly informed the officials he did not post the comment. “He said that his friends, who know his Facebook account’s password, might have posted the comment without his knowledge. However, since his carelessness brought shame to the department, he has been placed under suspension. A department inquiry has been ordered,” said an official.
Meanwhile, City Police Commissioner AK Viswanathan said the department always insists that police personnel should not hit people. “We have even instructed the personnel not to be hurtful even by words. There are guidelines from the courts as to how the arrested people should be treated and police personnel should abide by them. They should not be tortured or assaulted,” he said.