SI's murder: TN Ministers refute charge of apathy

SI's murder: TN Ministers refute charge of apathy

SI's murder: TN Ministers refute charge of apathy

A TV Grab shows R Vetrivel lying on the road begging for help after the 44-year-old's leg have been chopped off by gangsters. PTI/NDTVAs video footage of sub inspector Vetrivel crying for help with the two ministers standing around evoked a national outrage, Health Minister M R K Pannerselvam defended himself and Sports Development Minister T P M Mohideen Khan in the Assembly saying the charge against them was "totally wrong".

Pannerselvam said that on seeing the policeman's plight, he and Khan had immediately called for an ambulance which had to come from Tenkasi. "As there could be delay, we arranged for a police vehicle to move him to hospital," he said, refuting the allegation that they did not take any step to hospitalise Vetrivel who was battling for life on the road.

Tirunelveli District Collector M Jayaraman, who was part of the ministers' convoy, said the safety of Pannerselvam and Khan had to be taken into account while making arrangements to rush Vetrivel to hospital. "There were two cars of the ministers, two escort cars and my car. We arranged to send the injured SI in one of the escort cars immediately and telephoned hospitals at Ambasamuthiram and Tiruneveli to be ready to give emergency treatment," Jayaraman said.

Vetrivel's body was buried with full police honours at Mullikulam in Tirunelveli district as hundreds of residents paid homage while the two ministers kept away. Forty-four-year-old Vetrivel, a member of the Special Task Force that gunned down forest brigand Veerappan in 2004, lay in a pool of blood with a leg severed and begged for help after the attack by a gang at Alwarkuruchi on Thursday shortly before the ministerial convoy was to pass by.

AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa demanded sacking of two ministers, accusing them of not taking any action to save the life of a policeman, who was crying for help after being attacked by a gang, despite witnessing his plight. "The ministers did not take any step to save the sub-inspector. They had only called for an ambulance during the golden hour period," she said in a statement here.

The Sub-Inspector was seriously injured after the assailants hurled crude bombs at him and attacked him with sickles in a case of mistaken identity while they had intended to target another police official. Of the five persons detained in connection with the attack on the sub-inspector, three had been arrested, police said.

Announcing the arrests of the three at a press conference in Tirunelvei, state Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) K Radhakrishnan said a search was on for 11 persons, including Sivagami, wife of Sub-Inspector of Police Sivasubramanian, whom the gang had actually targetted to kill.

Radhakrishnan, who visited the scene of the crime, said the three arrested included Kandasamy, brother-in law of Sivasubramanian, and a 62-year old retired SI, relative of Sivagami. He said the police department had recommended to the government grant of relief of Rs two lakh to the family of Vetrivel besides conferment of gallantry award to the slain officer posthumously.

Radhakrishnan said SI Sivasubramanian had been transferred to a northern district and provided security.