Chennai: G Prabhu of Triplicane, in whose auto Vignesh and Suresh alias Ramesh travelled before being stopped by police near Kelley’s traffic signal, says that the police beat Vignesh for about three hours.
“I was returning to Triplicane after dropping a passenger in Retteri, when I saw Suresh walking on the Padi flyover around 10.30 pm with Vignesh, whom I didn’t know then. Since I knew Suresh, I asked him where they were going, and they asked me to drop them at Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital. Cops stopped us near Kelley’s traffic signal. Suresh introduced himself as Ramesh. Police scanned his face on their phone and found his original name and the cases pending against him. They beat him. Vignesh begged them not to beat Suresh since the latter was drunk. That’s when police spotted Vignesh’s knife. He told them that he keeps the knife to polish horse hoofs every day, but they didn’t believe it. They beat him and kept on attacking him till 2 am with wooden logs and broke his jawline. Both could not walk after the brutal attack,” recalls Prabhu shuddering.
Police allegedly asked Prabhu to come to the police station, but sent him away after taking a written statement from him. “When police asked if I knew them, I said no. They did not scan my face on their phone, or I’d have been detained citing my previous case,” says Prabhu, who went into hiding after he came to know that Vignesh died in police custody.
“If I had met the police, they’d have offered me Rs 5 lakh. I can make the same money by riding autorickshaw, but that’s not the price of a life,” he says.