The men who accused an Indian Police Service officer of custodial torture last week have alleged that they are being pressured to retract their statement, The Indian Express reported on Friday.

Assistant Superintendent of Police Balveer Singh at the Ambasamudram police division in the Tirunelveli district has been accused of breaking the teeth of suspects and crushing testicles of others.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin had suspended the Indian Police Service officer on Wednesday and ordered an investigation into the allegations.

“I have said this before, we will not tolerate any kind of human rights violations inside police stations,” Stalin had said in the state Assembly, reported the Hindustan Times. “Once the investigation is complete and we receive the full report, I assure you that further action will be taken against others who have been involved. This is the swift action our government has taken so far.”

However, 13 persons who have been allegedly tortured by Singh in custody have come forward to say that they are under police pressure to retract their statements. The 13 persons are from three police stations under Singh’s jurisdiction – Kallidaikurichi, Ambasamudram and Vikramasingapuram.

One of the persons, identified as Surya, had retracted his statement on Wednesday. Surya had alleged that he was tortured by Singh and his teeth were pulled out for damaging three CCTV cameras while he was drunk, reported The Indian Express.

“Somebody is spreading rumours,” Surya said on Wednesday, reported the Hindustan Times. “I fell down and broke my tooth. Police have nothing to do with this incident.”

Another unidentified victim said that he was scared especially after talking about the torture, the newspaper reported.

The allegations against Singh had surfaced last week after three suspects shared a video on social media. The men alleged that Singh had changed to plainclothes from his uniform when they were taken to the police station on March 10.

“He asked his gun-man and another policeman to hold my hands,” one of the persons identified as M Chellappa said. “He broke my tooth with a huge gravel. Later, he put the broken pieces into my mouth and slapped me until my lips started bleeding.”

He added: “When he started beating my brother Mariappan, we begged him not to as he is newly married. But once we said that, he crushed my brother’s testicles with his left hand and kicked him on his chest.”

Chellappa has now alleged that police is pressuring him to take back the statement, reported The Indian Express. “They [police] approached us through a lawyer and a relative,” he told the newspaper. “I will not change my statement.”

Besides Chellappa, an auto driver named Vetha Narayanan from Ambasamudram, who was taken into custody on March 23 following a domestic dispute, has alleged that he is being asked to retract his remarks too.

“I begged throughout as he pulled out my teeth,” Narayanan said. “I asked other officers to tell him in Hindi or English that there had been a minor issue at home. No one tried to help; rather they held me forcefully. I was tortured until 11.30 am before being let off.”

Narayanan claimed that he was taken to police station on Wednesday by a Special Branch officer to sign a document to deny any complaint.

But District Superintendent of Police P Saravanan denied the allegations of police officers pressuring the victims to take back their statements. “That is a completely false charge,” Saravanan told the newspaper. “We are not doing that.”

He added that all the men can testify about their ordeals before the sub-collector of Cheranmahadevi till April 10.