The minor boy, who was allegedly shot in his throat by a police inspector inside a police station in Chennai Tuesday, is on the way to recovery after an operation, an officer said.
"The boy underwent an operation yesterday (Tuesday) night. The operation lasted for around two-and-half hours. There was no damage to his vocal chords, only some tissues were damaged," the officer told IANS, preferring anonymity.
The 16-year-old boy was picked up by the Neelaankari police officers for an enquiry about a theft in a temple Monday and was detained in the station that night, a violation of the norms. The boy's parents were not informed about his detention.
According to a police officer, Inspector R. Pushparaj Tuesday threatened the boy with his revolver to tell the truth.
The police said the revolver went off accidentally when Pushparaj was cleaning the weapon.
A first information report (FIR) against Pushparaj has been registered and an inquiry has been ordered against him.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa addressed police officials last month and termed custodial death a travesty of justice, and said the dead are not simply a statistic for their loved ones.
"When police are expected to protect the lives of citizens in their homes, work places and in public, it would be a travesty of justice if a citizen dies within the precincts of a police station," she said.
Jayalalithaa said instances are reported of suspects dying suddenly after developing illness while in a police station or committing suicide while in custody.
"When you arrest nine lakh people, an odd death in custody here and there may appear to be statistically negligible. But a dead man is not a mere statistic for his loved ones," said the chief minister, who holds the home portfolio.