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Probe ordered against de-addiction centres in Chennai

Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: The Madras High Court has directed the Chennai Police Commissioner to enquire into complaints and submit a report about the activities of two alcohol de-addiction centres on the city's southern outskirts.

Passing an order on writ petitions, a Division Bench, comprising Justices Elipe Dharma Rao and K.K. Sasidharan, said police should submit the report by June 7 and posted the matter for that date.

In their separate writ petitions, S. Palanivelan and V. Ashok Kumar of New Washermanpet had sought a direction to authorities, including the Chief Secretary, to regulate the functioning of de-addiction centres in the State with proper guidelines.

Mr. Palanivelan submitted that he was a diesel mechanic addicted to alcohol. His family was worried about his habit. In March this year, four identifiable persons came to his house and took him to the Manshree Network India Trust in Akkarai village. He was forcibly detained in a room. He was kicked while he was sleeping and when he protested, was told that he had been brought to the centre to make him forgo his drinking habit.

He alleged that those kept at the centre were not given proper food or nutrition. Several persons were detained in a single room. Later, he was sent out.

Mr. Ashok Kumar said his brother Sasikumar (33) suffered from tuberculosis and was addicted to alcohol. On his request, the employees of Sadanai Network India Trust, Sholinganallur, admitted his brother. Later, he was not allowed to meet his brother.

In April, he received a telephone call from the organisation that his brother was bleeding from his mouth and nose and had been provided treatment. He was being taken to Government Hospital, Royapettah. At the hospital, he was informed by the organisation's chairman that his brother had died. The petitioner said till date the Trust had not informed him how his brother had died and about the treatment given to him.

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