COIMBATORE: Families of the three suspected Maoists arrested by rural police under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and booked under NSA lodged a complaint with the district revenue officer alleging torture by police. The officer T Christu Raj forwarded the petition to senior police officials for investigation. The families said the trio had been taken for interrogation in connection with a ‘man missing’ case but police detained them under the Unlawful Activities Act.
The family members also alleged that the arrested men were tortured under the pretence of investigation. P Ganapathy, 39, from Pollachi, D Sigamani, 26, from Angalakurichi and Selvaraj, 55, from Sulthanpet, all members of Jaathi Olippu Viduthalai Munnetra Iyakkam, were arrested under the UAPA act on June 12 for recruiting a tribal youth, A Santhosh Kumar, 23, into the Maoist movement last year. The families of the arrested, however, claim police had foisted the cases on them. “Sigamani had completed BSc BEd and was looking for employment.
A police team from the Aliyar station came to our house and took custody of him, accusing him of being a Maoist. Following his arrest, the rural police often came home to interrogate us,” said D Priyanka, Sigamani’s younger sister. A senior police officer, seeking anonymity, said it was based on the confession of S Kannan, arrested earlier along with four other Maoist leaders, that Santhosh Kumar, now said to be missing, had joined the movement. Sigamani, Ganapathy and Selvaraj had helped recruit him and so had been arrested under UAPA. On May 4, in a combined operation of the Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Tamil Nadu police had arrested Maoists R Roopesh, his wife Shyna and his three associates, Anoop Mathew Geroge, Kannan and C Veeramani in Coimbatore. Indira, 29, Ganapathy’s wife, said her husband worked towards eradicating caste bias and was part of a progressive movement.
“At 3am on July 12, a police team said they wanted to interrogate Ganapathy in connection with a ‘man missing’ case. I had asked if they had the summons for interrogation. The inspector gave a written statement that he had taken my husband for interrogation. But the same evening he was detained under the Unlawful Activities Act,” she said. She further said six months ago, police kept her husband under illegal custody for 12 days. He was eventually released and asked to sign at the Aliyar police station every day for one month. Six months later he was arrested for being a suspected Maoist.