Sathankulam custodial deaths: DSP Prathapan and ASP Kumar get fresh postings within 24 hours!

While Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP) D Kumar and Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Prathapan of Sathankulam, Thoothukudi district were suspended and kept under waiting list on Tuesday in the wake of the custodial deaths of Jayaraj and Bennicks in Sathankulam that erupted a massive outrage across the state, the government has now awarded them the new and powerful postings. 

The transfers and immediate postings of the two officers who have been directly connected to the case of the custodial deaths have come amid the emergence of the strong and sharp evidence against the police officers which revealed that Jayaraj and Bennicks had been tortured and killed by the policemen. According to the reports, the government has transferred the responsible police officers to the new post in less than 24 hours since they had been kept under the waiting list.

ASP Kumar has been appointed as the ADSP, Prohibition Enforcement Wing in the Nilgiris district wheres Sathankulam DSP Prathapan has been appointed as the DSP, anti-land grabbing special cell at Pudukottai district and Prathapan has been replaced by Ramanathan, who will now take charge as the DSP in Sathankulam, Thoothukudi. Ramanathan was previously serving as DSP in the Kallakurichi district.

   File photo: ASP Kumar (left) and DSP Prathapan (right)


The transfer orders from the government have come after the Madras High Court Madurai Bench, which took the case of the custodial deaths under suo motu cognizance, had suggested the government to transfer them with the view of conducting a fair and open probe into the death of the father and son. After the directive from the court, officers Kumar and Prathapan were kept under the waiting list on Tuesday and they have now been transferred. 

While Kumar and Prathapan were placed under the waiting list, Police Constable Maharajan, who was attached to the Sathankulam Police department, has been suspended from the post. He was accused of making a derogatory statement against Kovilpatti Judicial Magistrate Bharathidhasan who went to the police station to inquire about the death of the father and son.

On Tuesday, the Tamil Nadu government had also transferred Thoothukudi Superintendent of Police Arun Balagopalan and kept him under the waiting list. He was replaced by S Jeyakumar, who was serving as the SP of Villupuram district. According to the reports, the state government has suspended Sathankulam Inspector Sridhar and Sub-Inspectors Balakrishnan and Raghuganesh with connection to the custodial deaths and it had also transferred 17 police officers from the police station. 

The postings for Kumar and Prathapan have come at the high time when the Kovilpatti Magistrate disclosed his report on the findings and investigation at the Sathankulam police station to the Madras High Court Madurai Bench. In his three page report, the magistrate said that bloodstains were found in lathis and on the table at the Sathankulam police station and policemen had beaten Jayaraj and Bennicks throughout the night, leaving them to suffer multiple injuries, due to which they succumbed one after the other.

Also read: 

Sathankulam custodial deaths: New SP, new order, and new evidence! Is TN govt under pressure? 

Sathankulam custodial deaths: New CCTV visuals contradict police claims! What's in it?