Say Tamil Nadu police did not ill-treat them
The five Maoist suspects arrested by the ‘Q’ Branch Police on May 4 raised slogans in the Coimbatore Court complex on Friday alleging threat to their lives. Their 10-day police custody came to an end on Friday. The ‘Q’ Branch of Tamil Nadu was granted police custody of the suspects Roopesh, his wife Shyna and their accomplices C. Kannan, J. Anoop and C. Veeramani – from May 6 to May 15 – by the Judge of the Mahila Court M.P. Subramanian. They were quizzed on the PRS Ground in the city amidst tight security over ten days and taken to Tirupur where the couple stayed for over two years. On Friday, when they were produced before the judge they raised slogans that there was threat to their lives. But the suspects told the judge that there was no harsh treatment by the Tamil Nadu police.
However, Roopesh, Anoop and Shyna alleged that the Kerala police threatened to kill them in an encounter just as Maoists were killed in Telangana. Shyna also claimed that the Kerala police threatened her that they would arrest her 16-year-old elder daughter. Veeramani alleged that the Karnataka police while questioning him threatened to take him to a forest and kill him in a fake encounter. Their counsel S. Balamurugan opposed inquiry of the suspects by police from Kerala and Karnataka, as they were taken in the custody by Tamil Nadu police. “The judge has taken note of the issue,” he told reporters later. The suspects also alleged that they were kept in solitary confinement in judicial custody (for a day) before they were granted police custody. Responding to the allegations on denial of facilities, Mr. Subramanian listed a few amenities they were entitled to as per the jail manual.
As for medical assistance sought by Shyna and Veeramani, the judge said the prison doctor would assist them, adding that it would be the discretion of the Superintendent of Prison to decide on the medical facilities they would be provided. Anoop said that they would go on hunger strike in the prison and move an appeal before the Madras high Court if the promises were not met. Mr. Subramanian then directed that the five suspects be lodged in Coimbatore Central Prison under judicial custody till June 3. On their way back to the prison they raised slogans condemning the government and the police. Veeramani shouted slogans that the armed struggle in tribal villages would go unabated despite efforts by the police and government to suppress their movement.