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United Nations chief wants Sathankulam killings in Tamil Nadu investigated

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Antonio Guterres

United Nations, July 11 : UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres wants the death of a father and a son from Sathankulam in Tamil Nadu while in police custody with alleged signs of torture investigated, according to his Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric.

“Every death of all these cases as a principle need to be fully investigated,” Dujarric said on Friday when he was asked about the deaths of P Jayaraj and his son J Fennix, allegedly due to torture by police after their arrest on June 19.

Human rights organisations have called for ensuring police accountability in India.

Human Rights Watch South Asia Director Meenakshi Ganguly said, “As the world responds with horror at the killing of George Floyd, it is important for authorities in India to also embark upon robust efforts to ensure police reform, accountability, and putting an end to the culture of impunity.”

The killing of Floyd by police in Minneapolis has sparked a nation-wide movement in the US that has brought out into the open long-standing tradition of police brutality against minorities. The protests have spread to several countries around the world leading to an examination of police conduct, particularly towards minorities, and demands for reforms to end impunity.

Ganguly said about the Sathankulam case, “Despite numerous court directives and arrest procedures, the two recent deaths in Tamil Nadu has exposed yet again how police officers believe not only that they have the right to ‘teach someone a lesson’, but as was reported in the magistrate’s inquiry, that they will not be held accountable.”

Amnesty International India Executive Director Avinash Kumar said, “The deaths of Jayaraj and Fennix once again signal towards India’s continuing failure to hold its police accountable.”

He noted that “according to the 2018 National Crimes Record Bureau data, Tamil Nadu accounted for the second highest deaths in custody”.

“The Tamil Nadu State government cannot continue to turn a blind eye to the torture meted out by its police officers. It must show firm resolve by punishing the police officers involved and ensuring that Jayaraj and Fennix’s families get justice.”

Although torture has been outlawed in international law for over three decades, they are still not recognized as distinct crimes under Indian law, he said.

“India signed the UN Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment in 1997, but has not yet passed domestic legislation that will enable it to ratify the Convention,” he said.

The Prevention of Torture Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha in 2010 but has lapsed without the Rajya Sabha passing it.

The arrest of Jayaraj and Fennix, who ran a mobile phone shop, was reportedly related to the COVID-19 regulations on store closings.

They were taken to jail in Kovilpatti and Jayaraj died on June 21 and his son the next morning with signs of torture.

Merchants in Tamil Nadu held a one-day protest and there were other sporadic protests in Tamil Nadu but demonstrations were dampened by COVID-19 restrictions.

The Madras High Court has ordered an inquiry by police and six police personnel have been charged, with at least six arrested.

(Arul Louis can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter at @arulouis)

India

Water-logging after heavy showers in Delhi, but rain deficiency down

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New Delhi, Aug 13 (IANS) Heavy rains lashed Delhi on Thursday morning, bringing down the capital’s rain deficiency for the monsoon season to the lowest in 10 years. The downpour, which was reportedly the heaviest spell of rains this monsoon, resulted in water-logging at several places. Traffic too was disrupted and commuters struggled.

“Due to heavy rains, a drain has been damaged near Khaira village T-point on Dhansa road where underground metro work is going on. Traffic movement has been closed on 200 meters stretch of that portion of Dhansa road,” the Delhi Traffic police said.

Diversion of heavy traffic including buses and goods vehicles was done from Rawta village mod on main Dhansa road. The diverted traffic has to take the Rawta mod – Ujjawa village – Gumenhera village -Khaira village road to reach the Najafagarh phirni road.

Due to continuous rains, water-logging was also reported at Chhatta Rail, Kela Ghat, IP flyover, Minto Road, Bakoli Khampur, Mundka Nangloi, Mayapuri flyover, Raja Garden flyover, roundabout at Mandi House and Guru Nanak Chowk.

Traffic was also affected after a tree fell on the road in front of the Delhi High Court complex. Commuters had to wait near Pul Prahladpur underpass as water-logging made it difficult for motorists and pedestrians to cross the stretch.

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TN Covid cases up by 5,835

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Corona-Virus

Chennai, Aug 13 Tamil Nadu logged 5,835 fresh Covid-19 cases over the past 24 hours while a total of 5,146 people were cured of the disease and discharged from different hospitals in the state, said the Health Department on Thursday.

In a statement issued here, the department said 5,835 persons tested positive for coronavirus taking the tally to 320,355.

The total number of Covid-19-cured patients discharged from various hospitals in the state went up by 5,146 to 261,459.

The number of active Covid-19 cases in the state after taking into account the cured and dead stands at 53,499. The state recorded the deaths of 119 Covid-19 patients taking the death toll till date to 5,397.

The number of infected children in the state in the age group of 0-12 went up to 15,614.

The state capital Chennai continued to head the Covid-19 infection table with 989 persons testing positive for the virus and its total tally stands at 113,058.

( With inputs from IANS 

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Kolkata top cop tests Covid positive

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covid-19 test

A senior Kolkata Police officer tested positive for Covid-19 on Thursday, police said.

City police Joint Commissioner (Headquarters) Subhankar Sinha Sarkar tested positive for Covid-19 at the Kolkata Police headquarters in Lalbazar. He was suffering from fever for the past three days and went for a corona test. The report came out on Thursday.

Police sources at Lalbazar said Sarkar has now gone into home isolation. His condition is stable as of now. Those who came in contact with him in the past one week will also have to undergo Covid tests at Lalbazar.

According to sources, all police stations have been advised to reduce the number of police personnel at barracks to avoid Covid-19 infections. Over 1,000 frontline Covid warriors of the Kolkata Police have already been infected by coronavirus. Many of them are still in home isolation.

Source: IANS

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