Student Human Rights Defender
HRDA has issued an urgent appeal to the National Human Rights Commission of India on June 16 regarding the illegal detention and torture of Mr. Stalin in Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh, by the police. Mr. Stalin is a 26-year-old Dalit youth and a final-year law student at Dr BR Ambedkar Law College, Tirupati. He is also a member of the Students Federation of India (SFI). He hails from Thiruporur in Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu.
On the midnight of June 4, 2017, Mr. Stalin was arrested at the central bus stand in Tirupati. Some police personnel approached him asking as to what he was doing at the bus stand at that point of time in the night. As Mr. Stalin did not know Telugu or Hindi, he responded in Tamil saying that he is a student and was at the bus stand to drop his relatives. The police personnel said that they did not believe him. Stalin asked them to enquire with his relatives who had got inside a bus by then, or, his local guardian in Tirupati, or, with the college authorities to verify his claims.
Since Tirupati is an important transit point for red sander smugglers and woodcutters, the police personnel accused him of being a daily wage labourer working for the red sanders smuggling network, and took Mr. Stalin to the Tirupati East Police Station where they confiscated his mobile phone, making it impossible for him to contact his family members, friends and the college where he studied. The police beat him and he was kept in police custody for 18 hours.
During the 18-hour long detention, the police assaulted him with canes and boots. On June 12, 2017, he was released after seven days. He suffered injuries on his shoulder, hips, hands and legs. It is learnt that on verifying facts about Mr. Stalin, the police realised their mistake and were also ready to pay for the injuries they caused, but Stalin refused to take the money. Mr. Stalin’s family has sought departmental action against the police personnel of the Tirupati East Police Station.