The family of a 17-year-old boy who was allegedly illegally detained and thrashed by Chennai Police in a mobile theft case approached the State Human Rights Commission on Friday. The Times of India reported that the family members asked the panel to take action against an inspector in charge of the case and a policeman who allegedly threatened them and told them not to pursue it.

The police detained the boy from his home in Kannagi Nagar after mistaking him for a suspect in a theft case. The Class 7 drop-out had deep gashes on his lip and other external injuries when he was released by the police once they realised their mistake. He is scheduled for surgery at the ENT department of Government Royapettah Hospital next week. The incident was widely criticised by child and human rights activists.

According to The Hindu, National Human Rights Commission member Justice D Murugesan said only members of the Child Welfare Committee can question children in such cases and not the police. “I am not aware of the incident. But in cases like these, the children have to be taken to CWCs, which would help in the investigation through the Juvenile Justice Board. Police should never adopt third degree methods,” he told The Hindu.