Divine Intervention – 3 [part II]

The story so far:

Nungambakkam, part of Chennai’s central region witnessed the brutal murder of a young techie – Swathi – in June 2016.

As her killer Ram Kumar too died under mysterious circumstances, the reasons for her killing remain a diabolic mystery.

The short story below is an endeavour to investigate the possibilities that could have led to the killing of Swathi.

Part one of this longish short story was published earlier.

It can be accessed here.

Young Veerabahu was set to arrive in the Nungambakkam railway station platform some 10 minutes later.

I surveyed the scene.

The evening crowd was milling around close to the point where the foot over-bridge touched the ground.

A sizeable number of the passengers were students from the nearby Loyola College – believed to be the best in India – where freedom of thought was/is as important as breathing. Some of them had participated in an ongoing survey to discern the mood of the people – as fresh elections to the assembly were round the corner. Political instability post December 5 2016 – the day Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa was declared dead – had led to it.

I listened to the chatter.

A few months ago, reports alleged that the Tamil Nadu Government was functioning as per the diktat of Sasikala Natarajan, currently ensconced in Parapana Agrahara Central Prison in Bangalore’s outskirts as a convict. Politicians love to say that always law is allowed to take its course. India’s Supreme Court is of a clear mind in such a situation. “Corruption is not only a punishable offence but also undermines human rights, indirectly violating them, and systematic corruption, is a human rights’ violation in itself, as it leads to systematic economic crimes,” it said. Sasikala was punished for offences under sections 13[1][e] and 13[2] of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988 read with 120B [conspiracy] and 109 [abetment] of the Indian Penal Code. Rather strangely, none from any political party in Tamil Nadu had approached the courts to sack the regime that took orders from a convicted prisoner then and there on the principle of breakdown of the constitution. Any person in custody would be disqualified from holding any government job. A convict’s fate was even clearer. By publicly admitting that a female jail bird was flinging yolk from her steel nest in another state, a senior member of the cabinet had violated tenets of the constitution,” a girl with a sharp nose and bold voice said.

“There was worse. By itself, the ‘election’ of Sasikala as the general secretary of the ‘ruling’ All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam is ultra vires of its own constitution. The so-called election was patently illegal if one goes by the constitution of that party. AIADMK by-laws available in the Election Commission’s website state that the party general secretary can only be declared elected by the political unit’s representatives from all the states – including those from Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh plus the Andaman and Nicobar Islands during a specially convened General Council to ‘elect’ a ‘proper’ candidate who ought to have been an uninterrupted member for 5 years. Such an event never happened. It was this so-called election that caused Sasikala’s ‘empowerment’ to be ‘elected’ as the leader of the AIADMK legislature party. So, that was an illegal act in itself. It was the cause for the then CM O Panneerselvam to resign and make way for Sasikala – which also is legally non est. To ram all these unsavoury events down the throats of the people of Tamil Nadu, the Sasikala group had cocooned a majority of the MLAs in a beach resort, allegedly wined, dined and ‘entertained otherwise’ with dancing women. Reports said that all of them were recipients of several million rupees in cash, gold and a lot more. This captive legislators’ crowd had ensured that Chief Minister E Palanisamy survived the trust vote on the floors of the assembly vide violent harangue in February 2017. Since Sasikala’s original sin – in itself was unpardonable – the shameful aftermath could not have the luxury of hiding behind a legal fig leaf of having passed muster in the assembly. Every so called political event after the December 5 2016 demise of Jayalalithaa could be termed illegal,” a Kurta clad young man chimed in.

“The inner contradictions were too much to bear. Now, the AIADMK has ceased to exist as a party. The ‘twin-leaf’ symbol and the name AIADMK were frozen initially on account of the RK Nagar by elections. After the various groups of the AIADMK ended up shaming themselves through the results, the party has little chances of reviving itself. On the flip side, the DMK’s existence is on the basis of hate AIADMK slogan – that keeps its voters interested. Sooner or later the DMK would suffer the same chagrin as the AIADMK. The reasons are simple. There are one too many claimants for the ill-gotten wealth of the party’s leadership mainstays – comprising the members of its leader Karunanidhi’s family. Surveys conducted in the length and breadth of Tamil Nadu revealed that the people want a change … a change for the better from the self-centred politicians for whom only grabbing cash was the only vocational and ‘vacational’ theme. And that would inevitably end in the decimation of regionalism that began in southern India through the separatist Dravidar Kazhagam [DK] and its so-called political offshoot – the DMK,” a somewhat senior student added.

I smiled. The young ladies and gentlemen were on the right track.

At that moment an express train whizzed past on track three moving at 85 km ph northward.

The duty station master or his assistant was supposed to stand on platform 2 holding a green flag or light – to be spotted and acknowledged by the motorman driving the train.

After the passage of the train, the SM ought to inform master signal control that the clickety-clack sounds of the wheels on the tracks were normal and betrayed no derailment danger to the train. The acknowledgement by the motorman or driver was the proverbial feel-good-factor to help the safety of several thousand passengers’ lives in the clasps of his/her hands.

Instead of doing his duty, the person manning the railway platform’s office cubicle was chatting with someone on his mobile phone.

Seated in that console was a person whose demeanour depicted that he was someone in authority. He was flanked by 2 constables from the Railway Protection Force.

“I am conducting surprise checks for ticketless travellers. Obviously some will pay a fine or a bribe to escape. All of us can expect some ‘cash relief’ for the month end,” the ticket examiner in civvies said.

Interrupting his chat on the mobile, the person in charge of the station in white uniform quipped: “Don’t forget my share!”

The RPF men looked a bit nonplussed.

“In these busy hours, the state railway police personnel conduct their own raids … and collect sizeable booty. None of us get any share from that. Worse, they do not cooperate in nabbing those trying to run away,” one constable complained.

“Well, we are not parting with any part of our collection on that count…so one minus one is zero. Accounts are squared. All of us need to supplement our incomes thus in these difficult times. Our salaries are inadequate to maintain our families. We need the cooperation of the local cops when something like that Swathi murder blows. In the melee for audience eyeballs, television channels ignored the simple fact that on that fateful morning of June last year, none of us was performing our duties. And then, none noticed when the RPF and Railway Police beat ran round the mulberry bush on the non-existent issue of jurisdiction… simply to buy time,” the TE announced with a grim finality.

These were signs of systems’ societal decay.

The duty station master coming out every 10 minutes or so while fast trains went past was also meant to keep a wary eye on the passengers in the station and report any suspicious activity. He didn’t care a tuppence about it. Instead of according protection to passengers by incessantly patrolling the platforms as per their job mandates, RPF and state railway police personnel were actively harvesting funds for month-end pecuniary problems. Senior officials were actively collaborating.

I shook my head in disapproval.

Spotting Veerabahu alighting from the foot over bridge, I moved northward.

The slim, slender looking teenager was on the mobile phone – talking to his sister.

“Where have you reached?”

“Crossing Saidapet station,” the girl’s voice said. The kid had switched the hands free button on the instrument.

“I have homework to do. And then I have to prepare for the first semester tests,” Veerabahu protested.

“Is the rowdy waiting outside the station?”

“I actually wasn’t looking. But, what can I do if he turns violent? We need to ask pa to move home… to somewhere close to where I work,” the lass grumbled.

“What about pa’s job at the EB? What about my school? My whole life will be spoiled!”

“Would it be alright then if someone spoils and soils your sister? What kind of a brother are you?”

Veerabahu looked uneasy.

“You better come fast. I am waiting!” He cut the connection and rolled his eyes skywards in sheer exasperation.

“Why is God not around when we need him? Rowdies, crowded cities, rising prices, police apathy, scolding school teachers, difficult syllabus…”

As is the wont of youngsters, Veerabahu grumbled.

Aren’t you Damarla Veerabahu, little Swati’s younger brother?”

My question startled the boy.

“How do you know me?”

Every Friday, your sister Swathi is in the forefront of the palanquin bearers – carrying the idol of Shukaravaara Amman in the Aghastheeswarar temple nearby. I remember you because you once wanted to help your sister…but the priests forbade you from touching the palanquin, as it violates the temple rules. I see you offering prayers in that temple regularly.”

The boy looked closely at me and espied an old man with a kind face, dressed in a white Indian shirt and trousers. The salt and pepper facial and pate hair disarmed him.

“What is your name?”

Most persons in this vicinity refer to me as Agathi!”

“A very strange name, I would say,” the boy said thoughtfully.

It is the shortened form of a very famous sage – Agasthya. Some persons translate the name from Sanskrit as ‘mountain thrower’. The Tamil meaning denotes a person who has realised his inner self. In Tamil, Agam stands for a home. ‘Thiyan’ refers to a householder … who ensures the well-being of the home’s inhabitants. In a nutshell, if one goes by the Tamil meaning, every male is an Agathi … or Agathiyan. The sage Agasthya was a diminutive man. By the Sanskrit definition he could throw a mountain. It only implies that determination can cause any person to complete any superhuman feat. There is an entire city block in Kanyakumari district – called Agastheeswaram. Some 400 km off Kochi – in the Arabian Sea – there is an island called Agatti – the virtual capital of Lakshadweep archipelago. Finally, the temple you visit every Friday with your sister – is a shrine for Agastheeswarar. Hence, it is not such a strange name.”

The boy giggled.

“So what do you want from me?”

The boy pertly asked the question abruptly.

“Oh, I have no needs to be fulfilled by anyone. I only grant favours, more often than not, without anyone asking for it … completely free of charge. You and your sister have a problem in the form of a young unruly male tormentor. He follows your sister somewhat threateningly. Probably, you are here to accompany young Swathi home… because she feels safer with you around. But, you are not at all comfortable with the idea of facing the rowdy. Suppose… I give you a little formula to defeat this rowdy and thus prove that you indeed are really Veerabahu … the brave-heart with strong protecting arms. That is without any risk and no sweat. Will you be interested?”

The boy was puzzled. His confusion showed on his countenance.

“I am no Jackie Chan … and cannot hope to fight and win a grown up man who pumps iron in gyms.”

“Jackie Chan does those choreographed fights only in the films. There is a scene in a movie featuring a one minute shot where Jackie is shown as getting killed by Lee in Enter the Dragon. Bruce was his idol and Chan tells anyone willing to listen to him that he loved losing to his idol and did a lot of play acting to retain the sympathetic attention of the then more famous man. More seriously, the movie Enter the Dragon has a scene featuring Bruce Lee – teaching a little boy how to win a fight with a grown up man – without actually fighting. You could actually do it. It is very simple. I could help you win,” I informed the child.

“But, why would you do that?”

“Because… I love helping people. It is that simple. Come closer, I will teach you the trick. You can try it out tomorrow itself! And don’t worry. If something goes wrong, I will be around… to help you.”

The boy came closer.

“Is this absolutely free? No hidden tricks or charges?”

“None at all, my young friend, you can be sure.”

I then began telling him a simple trick. I took leave as the EMU steamed into the terminal.

I knew that the girl Swathi would frown at Veerabahu talking to strangers. But, that was par for the course.

O0o0o0o0o0o0o0oO

Indian Police Service [IPS] officer Nar Bahadur Thapa was posted to the Narcotics Control Bureau’s Chennai Unit in its northwest outskirts as southern India’s regional head. It was a ‘punishment’ posting. A set of corrupt men who controlled the vigilance and anti-corruption wings of the Central Bureau of Investigation had wanted Thapa out of the way.

Of Nepalese extraction, Thapa had the tenacity of bloodhounds that never let go a sniffed criminal at wrong end of an invisible but ‘smellable’ trail.

That evening, his table had 2 bulky files of criminals – linked to drug trade from across the Palk Straits – in Sri Lanka’s war-torn north and northeast, whose tentacles snaked into the innards of India’s various cities, and also into the innards of around 50 national capitals spread all over the globe.

The profits were enormous.

At its little known, obscure procurement points, prices of drugs like heroin, crack, cocaine, and marijuana was as low as Rs.50 per base unit. But, when sold in the retail ‘open air markets’, their prices ballooned 50,000 times. The methods of the underworld were becoming more sophisticated than those of the cops – and this was a worldwide malady. The resultant ill gotten wealth was round-tripped and pumped into legal economies – to push real estate prices skyward. India was no exception.

Real estate was the safest venue to park black funds – as very few could every actually measure the profit margins.

Thapa had done the hard work.

An acre of land with a legal floor space index [FSI] of 3.5 in the outskirts of Chennai or for that matter any city in India ranged between Rs. 2 and 4 crores. Each acre has 43,500 square feet on the ground level as its ‘carpet’ area. When multiplied by 3.5 – the allowed amount of FSI – the price of undivided share of the proposed built up area ranged between Rs. 133 to Rs.263 per square foot. Costs of building huge blocks of flats ranged around Rs.1000 per square foot. In a nutshell, builders spent around Rs.5 lakhs for a 500 sq ft flat and sold it for Rs.25 lakhs. Burdened by other factors of the global meltdown, big time mainstream media outlets winked at this racket. There was a method to this madness. Builders’ networks splurged money on full page colour advertisements – often occupying the first three pages of newspapers besides sponsoring hours and hours of television time.

The operators of this huge sinister machine also bankrolled political parties. In some states, political parties’ sections actually owned and ran the racket. The sinister game drew sustenance by cannibalising its own assets. Some of the real estate defaulters’ flats were used as dens to peddle drugs and then discarded whenever some “untoward” event happened. Often such “events” were “rave” parties catering to the spoilt rich brats and also to draw more potential victims into the concentric vortex of drug addiction and peddling. The victim owner of such a den – soon declared as an erstwhile owner – would be flung to the wolves as a drug trafficker. The whole racket suited only wrongdoers and rendered them richer after every deal – botched or otherwise..

A ‘foolproof’ system had been hammered into place to run this evil empire. It was done vide the creation of a network of agents employed by private and foreign banks that had begun lending money in India at usurious interest rates since the turn of the millennium.

The grey market of ‘collection agents’ was a good source of information to identify future victims to be fleeced and/or raped and/or prostituted.

‘Minor’ funding began with credit cards and ‘personal loans’. The dues amounted to a few thousands of rupees. Usurious interest rates ensured indebtedness. Before long, a vast section of the middle-class was in the thrall of these sophisticated moneylenders. Those who deferred paying on time were catchment areas of potential victims. Rowdies from the dregs of society worked as ‘collection agents’ and provided vital info. Those amongst these gangs that were smarter than the rest slowly levitated towards the drug distribution. Thus began a database of persons who be preyed upon to buy ‘dream homes’ engineered to default to turn such residences into nightmares – only to be repossessed and sold to other similar victims.

The operation was a large scale one.

While in the CBI, Thapa had been assigned the task of identifying the shady methods of foreign banks, their lending patterns and recovery methodology. At the start of his probe, he had stumbled on to the world of pricey auditing firms which violated every known law in every nation possible and yet retained the veneer of respectability. One such firm is Pricewaterhouse Coopers [PwC].

A minor cog of this giant machine, Sengodan had committed the cardinal sin of ‘leaning on’ Pachaiappan – nicknamed ‘patch-boy’ amongst a small group of friends for recovering credit card dues. Pachaiappan was the son of Duraisingham, a head constable who worked for CBI. The young man had apparently used the rectangular piece of plastic during a new year’s party in a 3-star hotel. The bill had come to Rs.26K. Patch-boy’s pals promised to pool in the money to square the loan off. But, the sharing of the financial load actually never took place.

Without knowing the antecedents of his victim’s father, Sengodan began sending threatening messages to Pachaiappan. Usually, credit card and finance companies avoid 3 categories of individuals viz. Journalists, lawyers and police officials. The avoidance is explained away with a two-word term: “negative profile”. Secretly the movers and shakers in this rat race admit that discovery of the workings of their racket is their big fear. The bigger fear is journalists, lawyers and cops using the instrument of blackmail to clean the wrongdoers out, aver the men and women at tertiary levels of this game. The bitter truth is stranger. Those who never deserve a single rupee manage to net billions of rupees and are allowed to not only default but also helped to escape the laws of India under everyone’s noses. 

Before long, seeing his son listless most of the day, the cop accessed the SMS from his son’s mobile.

Duraisingham sought the advice of his superior officer.

Holding the rank of Inspector General, Thapa merited a landlubber bosun. Duraisingham performed that task admirably in Chennai.

So, when the hapless minion approached his boss for saving his son, the IG – then looking after various high profile cases from Delhi for the CBI’s southern operations, Thapa realised the potential and pulled the young man’s chestnuts out of the fire and began watching the gang of ‘recovery agents.’ That endeavour had landed the strange fish – Sengodan.

By keeping tabs on Sengodan, Thapa had traced most of the racketeers and identified their modus operandi. That was when he suspected something else – the presence of a vigilante group of IT professionals functioning beyond their work-station borders to identify ill-gotten funds parked abroad. As he had begun taking an interest in the activities of several young men and women, one of them – a Brahmin girl aged 24 – Swathi – had been brutally killed in mid 2016.

When others above him found out Thapa’s focus, they got him transferred – virtually on punishment. But, being pushed to the wall, Thapa had decided to fight. And that fight had led to his unearthing the huge racket whose minor loose end was Sengodan. The big time players were builders and architects working from flashy offices.

Thapa looked at the clock in his office.

It was close to 7 p.m.

Pressing his buzzer, he summoned Duraisingham – who had levitated to the NCB along with his boss.

“We may have a major job to do, tomorrow, to end rackets of youngsters’ tormentors – like the man who had harassed your son,” Thapa said.

“Sure sir,” the orderly said.

“I have been tracking the mobile of this person called Sengodan. He lives in Choolaimedu area but does his trade in OMR. It seems he is also stalking a girl Swathi – like someone else had chased her namesake last year. What makes the whole thing interesting is the qualification of this girl and her core competence area. She is a code breaking ethical hacker. I suspect that last year’s dead Swathi was one as well.”

“Did the other girl – the dead Swathi do the same thing and was she killed on that count sir?”

Duraisingham asked the question at the spur of the moment in total innocence.

“I have a strong suspicion that she was,” Thapa enigmatically said.

-to be continued

Shameful policing in Tamil Nadu electrocutes a high-profile ‘dead-end’

Chennai is in the news for the wrong reasons yet again on the issue of the brutal murder of 24-year-old S. Swathi, a software engineer employed in Infosys.

Her alleged killer, P Ramkumar, reportedly committed suicide in the high security Puzhal prison located 20 km northwest of the southern metropolis’s power centre – Fort St George.

Revenge triumphs over death; love slights it; honour aspires to it; grief flies to it; fear preoccupies it, said Francis Bacon.

That roughly sums up Tamil Nadu’s lopsided policing system – a state where there is neither law nor order and is the crying shame of its highly corrupt uniformed fraternity! It also entails the dead-ends of 2 lives. The first was an innocent 24-year-old girl Swathi. She reportedly spurned the advances of a stalker and got fatally chopped. Ramkumar, her alleged tormentor took his secrets to a mysterious end, in a virtually unbelievable method of suicide inside a high security prison. It betrays that the police department badly needs story-tellers who can spin a logical yarn to justify the most illogical incident.

Ramkumar allegedly committed suicide by “pulling and biting into a live electric wire” inside the southern metropolis Chennai’s central prison in Puzhal on September 19 2016, officials said.

Operative excerpts from The Hindu:

According to a prison official, around 4.30 p.m., a jail warder heard an unusual sound and rushed to find Ramkumar lying unconscious with a live electric wire in his mouth near the dispensary block. It is “presumed” that he pulled out the live wire from a switchboard and bit it.

After switching off the main power, the warder, with the assistance of others, rushed Ramkumar to the prison hospital where first-aid was administered. Since his pulse was deteriorating, doctors referred him to the Government Royapettah Hospital where Ramkumar was declared “dead on arrival”.

Ramkumar’s lawyers were about to move the court for his bail plea on September 19. A phone call from the prison around 4.40 p.m. said Ram Kumar was being taken to a hospital after he suffered stomach disorder. A few minutes later, another caller said Ramkumar was dead. “He was healthy when I met him last in the prison on August 11”, the victim’s father Paramasivam said on phone from Tirunelveli, located 600 km south of Chennai.

In July, the Chennai police had claimed that Ramkumar had slit his throat when they had gone to his house in Tirunelveli district to arrest him.

Alleging foul play in his death, several politicians including Leader of Opposition M.K. Stalin demanded an independent probe into the matter.

Compare the incident with what Vijay Kumar, the new Additional Director General of Police, Prisons Department, Tamil Nadu has to say:

Prison is a vital arm of the Criminal Administration System. The Personnel of the Prison Department have the onerous task of protecting the Society from those incarcerated by due process of law. The Penal System in the Modern times has undergone several Changes and the focus is now on Reformation and Rehabilitation and not retribution and punishment.

Human rights are inalienable rights and every inmate of the prison has a right to be treated with dignity. Prison walls are not an impediment to the penetration of Human rights. 

Mahatma Gandhi said “The prisoners are wards of the State and not Slaves”. The prison personnel have been suitably sensitized on the nature of their duties through intensive basic and in service training.

Prison Department sincerely dedicates itself for the cause of peace and tranquility in society.

Of course, death is a tranquil state in itself.

Swathi was murdered on June 24 early morning in the left ventricle of the city.

Operative excerpts from the blog penned by this writer in July:

The 24-year-old victim was hacked to death between 6 and 7 in the morning. The scene of crime is one of the platforms of Nungambakkam railway station. The minor rail terminal is located on the main route that links Chennai to the rest of the state. The city police headquarters is a mere 3.8 km to the northwest of the scene of crime.

Swathi, a 24-year-old female Infosys employee was brutally hacked to death at the Nungambakkam railway station in Chennai on June 24 around 6 am. The ill-fated victim was bound for Mahindra Tech City in the suburbs where she worked, a credible news website said.

The victim lived virtually next door to the railway terminal. She was dropped at the station by her father retired civil servant male parent Santhana Gopalakrishnan, a few minutes before the murder.

Close-circuit television cameras in the vicinity captured images of a young man wearing black trousers and a checked shirt – whom – unnamed eyewitnesses have identified as her murderer.

The perpetrator, it is said, had a loud quarrel with her before hacking her fatally with a machete.

Many glaring details have been conspicuously left out by the sections of Chennai’s paid press. Its majority comprises amateur cowboys and cowgirls only chase fat envelopes stuffed with currency notes and other trappings obtained through abuse of power.

The city police headquarters and the state railway police headquarters are located some 3 km from the scene of crime in Egmore. While the public apathy is being flayed, the careless, cavalier attitude of the brown shirt top brass isn’t even being mentioned.

None of the reports indicate as to whether the Additional Director General of Police in charge of the state’s railway police wing [the name on the cops’ relevant website is Seema Agarwal, IPS] held an enquiry to find out what her subordinates, meant to patrol the platforms 24/7, were doing when the reprehensible event took place. Whether some responsibility for dereliction of duty was fixed remains a total mystery. The same duties are meant to be performed by the Railway Protection Force. There has been no action in that turf as well.

The names appearing as the zonal head [rank of CSC – SC Parhi and the all India DGP – RPF – Surendra Kumar Bhagat do not figure in any of the press reports. This is despite the fact that it is incumbent upon these officials to hold inquiries, fix responsibility and punish those who did not perform their duty.

Incidentally, Seema Agarwal was invited to the United States of America as per letter dated April 18 2016, signed by Cecelia R, to attend the International Association of Chiefs of Police [IACP] to be held in a facility maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Quantico, Virginia, US of A between June 20 and 24 2016.

The expenses were to be met by India. In the absence of Seema Agarwal, Deputy Inspector General of Police – J Bhaskaran, conducted enquiries, by cursorily visiting the station for a few minutes. He made the usual noises like a seasoned rooster.

So far, none in the railway police – with central and state regimes’ denominations – has been hauled up for dereliction of duty – at the time of writing.

Media reports do not indicate as to whether the General Manager Vasishta Johri – whose residence is located very close to the scene of crime visited the spot or ordered an enquiry to find out what the on-duty Station Master and/or Assistant Station Master in Nungambakkam were up to at the time of occurrence. Significantly, the offices of the SM are located within 20 metres of the spot where Swathi was killed. As a matter of rule, the officiating SM ought to be standing on the platform to monitor long distance trains plying on the route and wave the green flag.

The uninformed consider this waving to be a meaningless formality. Railways’ internal manuals say that the SMs are meant to pay close attention to any unusual noise emanating from long-distance trains clickety-clack on the tracks – to discern forthcoming mishaps while whizzing past without stopping. The exercise of SMs patrolling the platform, the rule books add, also is meant to ensure the official maintains an alert vigil on the railway platform to prevent untoward incidents.

A team of the city police was assisting the government railway police (GRP) in cracking the case, commissioner T K Rajendran said.

[Rajendran has since been promoted and posted as Director General of Police, in charge of the entire state.]

The GRP suffers from a severe staff crunch, sources said. Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu tweeted his reaction: “Directed Member (Staff) Rly Board 2 provide all help, tk up da issue wth State Govt fr taking immediate appropriate actn 2 book da culprit.”

All this is expected to produce results measurable in less than zilch.

The state police outfit has highly reprehensible record in cover-ups of crimes.

The biggest cover-ups by Tamil Nadu cops with the connivance of the Central Bureau of Investigation have placed heavy lids on the nation’s biggest scandals.

  1. The telecom scandal – with the 5-year-old stink of the suspected murder of former Union Telecom Minister Andimuthu Raja’s aide – Sadiq Batcha was botched by the Chennai police. This is despite the emergence of a televised statement of an individual who claimed to have killed Batcha with the help of a serving Inspector General of Police Jaffer Sait! The great ‘investigative journalist geniuses’ of Chennai are totally silent about it.
  2. Former Union Minister P Chidambaram – who continues to wield a weird influence over the Central Bureau of Investigation and the local police – is involved in huge misdemeanours.
  3. Another strange incident concerns the lies about the murder of former PM Rajiv Gandhi – uttered by – yet again – the same Chidambaram. Yet, despite the ‘popular’ belief that he is on the wrong side of state Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, the recount minister is not touched either by the TN cops or by the CBI. And then, there are strange truths about the Harvard don – euphemistically known as the Chidambaram Secrets. All these have been buried – with what seems like criminal willingness on part of the Tamil Nadu police.
  4. One of India’s biggest scandals concerns the one concerning Granite Exports by a gang of criminals. Despite the passage of over 5 years, precious little has happened despite the intervention of the Madras High Court. This is despite the cops being given all the details of the scandal whose worth is believed to be in excess Rs.20 lakh crores! None has cared to record that initially state cops had termed the scandal worth Rs.17,000 crores – hugely contradicted by a probe conducted by an IAS officer Sagayam, who said the scam is worth Rs.1.10 lakh crores! It involves a triple murder, secret Swiss bank accounts and the list of accused could include former Chief Minister M Karunanidhi and former DGPs!

Chennai techie murder exposes total criminalisation of Tamil Nadu cops

Authorities’ buck-passing ritual to camouflage the failure of cops to arrest the killer of young techie Swati in the heart of India’s southern metropolis has begun. And it has exposed an unpalatable, horrible truth about southern India’s largest city.

In Chennai, the orderly rule of law is non-existent. The state police and/or its Chennai adjunct have the worst records in covering up grave crimes.

Ironically, the Chennai city police may soon take over the probe from the Government Railway Police – which is part of the state police set up anyway.

The state police is completely shameless and totally criminalised. The incorrigibly corrupted uniformed fraternity cares a fig for the common man/woman/child/geriatric/transgender.

The situation is worsened by the majority of the local, apparently docile but actually diabolically corrupt print and electronic media. Most of them collectively deserve an Oscar award for shamelessly pretending to be concerned about the public apathy surrounding the techie’s brutal murder.

Their ‘investigative’ and/or ‘inquisitive’ reports are pathetically piss-poor. Most of them are in the pay of politicians serving causes that are the epitomes of corruption.

Biased, superficial reports riddled with factual errors are routinely put out by the ‘highly paid’ cowboys and cowgirls. It is evident that the loyalty of this majority towards its readers – the common public – is not worth the value of a burnt out matchstick. The majority of pen-pushers serve their political masters who pay them more than their salaries. Else, the corrupt cops supplement and compliment their incomes very, very handsomely.

The evidence, to put it mildly, raises everyone’s hackles.

The state police outfit has highly reprehensible record in cover-ups of crimes. [1]

The 24-year-old victim was hacked to death between 6 and 7 in the morning. The scene of crime is one of the platforms of Nungambakkam railway station. The terminal is located on the main route that links Chennai to the rest of the state. The city police headquarters is a mere 3.8 km to the northwest of the scene of crime.

Sketchy excerpts from a report in thenewsminute.com:

Swati, a 24-year-old female Infosys employee was brutally hacked to death at the Nungambakkam railway station in Chennai on June 24 around 6 am. The ill-fated victim was bound for Mahindra Tech City in the suburbs where she worked.

The victim lived virtually next door to the railway terminal. She was dropped at the station by her father retired civil servant male parent Sreenivasan, a few minutes before the murder.

Close-circuit television cameras in the vicinity captured images of a young man wearing black trousers and a checked shirt – whom – unnamed eyewitnesses have identified as her murderer.

The perpetrator, it is said, had a loud quarrel with her before hacking her fatally with a machete.

Police are on the lookout for suspects. It is not exactly known whether a cab driver who also had quarrelled with the victim a week before the incident has been identified and/or is being questioned.

The post mortem report said the victim had fatally bled from multiple cuts on her upper torso.

Swati’s grieving family has expressed concern about the victim’s reputation being besmirched posthumously. Sections of the paid media have begun linking the dead girl to a ‘boyfriend’ reportedly beyond the confines of her religious boundaries and hinting it a crime of passion.

No arrests have been made so far. The Government Railway Police has released footage of the suspect gathering them from cameras installed in houses near the scene of crime.

The murder was an event that took place in public view. Eyewitnesses reportedly chose to look away.

No attempt was made by anyone to nab the assailant, who managed to walk away.

Operative excerpts from the bland statement issued by Swati’s employer:

“We are saddened by the unfortunate incident. We are working with the local authorities investigating the matter. Our deepest sympathies are with the family of the deceased. Infosys will provide necessary support to the family.”

[Emphasis supplied]

The pathetically superficial nature of the coverage can be discerned by downloading  footage from the links below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=81xkHjsWq7U

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBXpDjXe8yU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yAZUZI5WMKo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MenSZILpaus

Many glaring details have been conspicuously left out by the sections of Chennai’s paid press.

This crowd also services national electronic media. Some of them:

  • The city police headquarters and the state railway police headquarters are located some 3 km from the scene of crime in Egmore. While the public apathy is being flayed, the careless, cavalier attitude of the brown shirt top brass isn’t even being mentioned.
  • None of the reports indicate as to whether the Additional Director General of Police in charge of the state’s railway police wing [the name on the cops’ website is Seema Agarwal, IPS] held an enquiry as to what her subordinates meant to patrol the platforms 24/7 were doing or also whether some responsibility for dereliction of duty was fixed. The same duties are meant to be performed by the Railway Protection Force.
  • The names appearing as the zonal head [rank of CSC – SC Parhi and the all India DGP – RPF – Surendra Kumar Bhagat do not figure in any of the press reports. This is despite the fact that it is incumbent upon these officials to hold enquiries, fix responsibility and punish those who did not perform their duty.
  • Incidentally, Seema Agrawal was invited to the United States of America as per letter dated April 18 2016, signed by Cecelia R, to attend the International Association of Chiefs of Police [IACP] to be held in a facility maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Quantico, Virginia, US of A between June 20 and 24 2016.
  • The expenses were to be met by India. In the absence of Seema Agrawal, Deputy Inspector General of Police – J Bhaskaran, conducted enquiries, by cursorily visiting the station for a few minutes. He made the usual noises like a seasoned rooster.
  • So far, none in the railway police has been hauled up for dereliction of duty – at the time of writing.
  • Media reports do not indicate as to whether the General Manager Vasishta Johri – whose residence is located very close to the scene of crime visited the spot or ordered an enquiry to find out what the on-duty Station Master and/or Assistant Station Master in Nungambakkam were up to at the time of occurrence. Significantly, the offices of the SM are located within 20 metres of the spot where Swati was killed. As a matter of rule, the officiating SM ought to be standing on the platform to monitor long distance trains plying on the route and wave the green flag.
  • The uninformed consider this waving to be a meaningless formality. Railways’ internal manuals say that the SMs are meant to pay close attention to any unusual noise emanating from long-distance trains clickety-clack on the tracks – to discern forthcoming mishaps while whizzing past without stopping. The exercise of SMs patrolling the platform, the rule books add, also are meant to ensure the official maintains an alert vigil on the railway platform to prevent untoward incidents.

Meanwhile, another media report indicated that the city police may take over the probe. Operative excerpts:

A team of the city police was assisting the government railway police (GRP) in cracking the case, commissioner T K Rajendran said. The GRP suffers from a severe staff crunch, sources said.Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu tweeted his reaction: “Directed Member(Staff) Rly Board 2 provide all help, tk up da issue wth State Govt fr taking immediate appropriate actn 2 book da culprit.”

All this is expected to produce results measurable in less than zilch.

[1]

The biggest cover-ups by Tamil Nadu cops with the connivance of the Central Bureau of Investigation have placed heavy lids on the nation’s biggest scandals.

  1. The telecom scandal – with the 5-year-old stink of the suspected murder of former Union Telecom Minister Andimuthu Raja’s aide – Sadiq Batcha was botched by the Chennai police. This is despite the emergence of a televised statement of an individual who claimed to have killed Batcha with the help of a serving Inspector General of Police Jaffer Sait! The great ‘investigative journalist geniuses’ of Chennai are totally silent about it.
  2. Former Union Minister P Chidambaram – who continues to wield a weird influence over the Central Bureau of Investigation and the local police – is involved in huge misdemeanours.
  3. Another strange incident concerns the lies about the murder of former PM Rajiv Gandhi – uttered by – yet again – the same Chidambaram. Yet, despite the ‘popular’ belief that he is on the wrong side of state Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, the recount minister is not touched either by the TN cops or by the CBI. And then, there are strange truths about the Harvard don – euphemistically known as the Chidambaram Secrets. All these have been buried – with what seems like criminal willingness on part of the Tamil Nadu police.
  4. One of India’s biggest scandals concerns the one concerning Granite Exports by a gang of criminals. Despite the passage of over 5 years, precious little has happened despite the intervention of the Madras High Court. This is despite the cops being given all the details of the scandal whose worth is believed to be in excess Rs.20 lakh crores! None has cared to record that initially state cops had termed the scandal worth Rs.17,000 crores – hugely contradicted by a probe conducted by an IAS officer Sagayam, who said the scam is worth Rs.1.10 lakh crores! It involves a triple murder, secret Swiss bank accounts and the list of accused could include former Chief Minister M Karunanidhi and former DGPs!