Following the custodial deaths, TN police bans 'Friends of Police' for two months!

The Tamil Nadu police department has, on Sunday, banned the volunteer organization 'Friends of Police' (FoP) from offering its services to the state law enforcement agency for at least two months.

The ban has come with the sequel of the involvement of some of the volunteers of the organization in the custodial torture of Jayaraj and Bennicks who died under police custody in Thoothukudi district, which erupted massive outrage on what has spotlighted the police brutality in India. According to the reports, the police department has sent an oral instruction to all the district police offices on Sunday on the ban.

In that instruction, the senior police officers were asked not to engage the volunteers of the 'Friends of Police' organization in any of the police-related activities and instructed the recall of identity cards issued to the volunteers. Following the ban, the volunteers of FoP will be constrained from carrying out police patrolling, arrests, and vehicle checks for at least two months. 

However, the reports say that there has been no ban invoked for the volunteers in carrying out social-related activities along with the police department like regulating the road traffic amid the lockdown. In Chennai, newly appointed Police Commissioner Mahesh Kumar Aggarwal said that the volunteers of FoP will be engaged in public activities such as carrying out awareness campaigns and other volunteering works in the city including vehicle checks. The commissioner stated that the volunteers won't be permitted for police patrolling in the city.

The FoP has gone through immense criticism in its role in the custodial deaths of Jayaraj and Bennicks in Sathankulam, Thoothukudi. Many have raised questions on the necessity of the organization in carrying out police-related activities after some of the volunteers were alleged to have involved along with the policemen in brutally torturing and thrashing 58-year-old Jayaraj and his 31-year-old son Bennicks.

While the FoP had issued a statement in which it denied the involvement of its volunteers in the custodial deaths in Sathankulam,  multiple reports divulged that the volunteers had also beaten and tortured the father and son duo. Last Friday, the CBCID team, which has been probing the custodial deaths, said that it would investigate the FoP in its involvement in the case of police brutality.