An interim ban has been imposed across Tamil Nadu on Friends of Police (FOP), an organisation, which has come under scanner in connection with the custodial death of a man, Jayaraj and his son, Fenix of Sathankulam town in the state.
The police headquarters has ordered all district SPs not to use the FOP across Tamil Nadu for any activity for two months. It is also said to be considering dissolution of the organisation.
FOP was founded by Mr Pradeep V Philip SSP of Ramanathapuram of Tamil Nadu. Many School and college students seeking employment in the police department were recruited into the initiative for training and help.
The organisation has made a strong base in the police department. There are currently 15 to 20 FOP members in all police stations in Tamil Nadu and it has 34 FOP District Coordinators across Tamil Nadu.
FOP members engage in night patrols, road traffic management, security measures, and blood transfusions.
In recent times, they have purportedly been involved in criminal prosecutions and capture of curfew vehicles.
Many political leaders and activists such as Thirumurugan Gandhi of May 17 Movement, MJK Chief Mr.Thamimun Ansari, Pachai Tamizhagam katchi have suggested that the FOP should be banned throughout Tamil Nadu as it is an easy channel for religious extremists to create chaos and communal imbalance in the state.
Though the FOP has denied its alleged role in the Sathankulam case, there arises the question that who were the unknown volunteers who were present during the brutal murder of Jayraj and Fenix inside the lockup.