The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court directed the Commissioner of Police, Madurai, to secure and produce before the court four men alleged to be behind the withdrawal of a petition pertaining to the Avaniapuram custodial death case.

A Division Bench of Justices T.S. Sivagnanam and S. Ananthi directed the Commissioner of Police to secure Athi Narayanan, Kathir, Loganathan and Ramesh and produce them before the court. The High Court initiated suo motu proceedings after the petition was withdrawn.

The petitioner, P. Muthukaruppan, father of the 22-year-old victim M. Balamurugan, filed a petition alleging that his son sustained injuries in police custody and later died at Government Rajaji Hospital. He sought a CBI probe into the custodial death.

It was said that Balamurugan and his associates were arrested by police for their alleged involvement in the kidnap of a youth and ransom demand from his parents. However, in an unexpected turn of events, Mr. Muthukaruppan decided to withdraw his petition.

Henri Tiphagne, the advocate who represented the petitioner pro bono in the case, wrote to the High Court Bench stating that the father withdrew the petition because of the threat from local police and that the parents were being coerced not to depose against police officers said to be involved in the case.

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