Saturday, February 26, 2011

[ZESTCaste] HC suspects foul play in Dalit youth's death

HC suspects foul play in Dalit youth's death
TNN, Feb 26, 2011, 12.58am IST

CHENNAI: "Are we living in a civilised society? There is definitely a
foul play (in the death of a Dalit youth)".

This was the observation of an exasperated division bench of the
Madras High Court, which disbelieved the police story that the youth,
who had married a caste Hindu girl, was fatally knocked down by a
speeding vehicle while escaping from police custody.

The bench comprising justice Elipe Dharma Rao and justice N
Kirubakaran also asked the state police and the superintendent of
police of Tirunelveli to take action based on an affidavit filed by M
Ranjani, mother of the deceased Vinoth Kumar, and submit a report in
court. The bench then adjourned the matter to March 1 for further

According to Ranjani, Vinoth was arrested by the Puzhal police on
August 10, 2010 after he eloped with a minor girl. He came out on bail
on August 29. In December 2010, he was picked up by the police, and
she approached the Madras High Court on January 11, 2011.On January
14, she received a call from Thisayanvilai police in Tirunelveli
district, stating that Vinoth had died while trying to escape from
police. Though a post-mortem had already been conducted, as per court
orders another post-mortem was conducted on January 23 here.

On Friday, concurring with the arguments of her counsel P Vijendran,
the judges wondered whether it was possible to have a fair probe in
the matter at all. They also said the police force was trying only to
safeguard the interests of certain persons', and added: "This (the
suspicious death) was not possible without the collusion of the
police." They also wanted the police to arrest a third person named in
the new affidavit filed in the court, and felt that even the
magistrate who remanded Vinoth Kumar was biased.

On Friday, advocate G Saravana Kumar also filed a sworn affidavit,
stating that the evidence he had collected indicated that the youth
was murdered by a person hired by the girl's father. He claimed that
deputy superintendent of police-level officials, the girl's family
members and the hired killer were all involved in the death.

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