Lockdown deaths are increasing by the day and the recent incident from Tamil Nadu has demonstrated one of the most inhuman sides of the police. Social media is on the boil since the father-son duo died of alleged custodial torture in Sathankulam town near Thoothukudi in Tamil Nadu on June 22.
The entire ordeal started on June 19, when 62-year-old Jayaraj kept his mobile shop open in Sathankulam even after 7 pm, the designated curfew time. After an altercation with police, he was taken to the police station. Fenix, his 31-year-old son was informed about this development and he rushed to Sathankulam police station.
Later the son was also taken into custody and the family was given little information about what’s happening. According to an eyewitness, when Fenix protested against his father’s injuries, he was attacked as well.
Some standing outside the station heard cops asking the duo “how dare they raise voice against police”. It is also alleged that when sub-inspector Raghu Ganesh entered the station after 11 pm, the violence allegedly peaked. Other cops joined him in thrashing the duo. The father and son were allegedly sexually abused as well.
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On the morning of Saturday, June 20, both were taken to Sathankulam Government Hospital, where the cops had asked the worried family to arrange a vehicle for them and bring fresh clothes too.
Bennix’s friend Rajaram told media, that the duo was bleeding profusely. He said,
The family had to change six lungis. Fenix was bleeding from the rectum and his father too bled from behind.
Shocking Details Of Sexual Abuse
Jayaraj was unable to walk, his clothes were drenched in blood. S Joseph, who is married Jayaraj’s sister told The Indian Express, his wife was allowed to meet them after she pleaded with the cops. He added,
Jayaraj was unable to talk, pointing to his clothes, which were seeped with blood, especially below his waist. Fenix’s back was drenched in blood.
Joseph also said that Jayaraj also revealed they had been beaten 100-200 times, all through the night.
On the other hand, Fenix too changed his clothes several times. Joseph said police allowed Fenix to change his trousers for a lungi. But the garment was also soaked in blood. He said,
They asked us to bring another lungi, but that too was drenched before they even took them inside the hospital.
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Husband Allegedly Murdered In Police Custody After Wife Got Him Arrested On Domestic Violence Charges
Family members of the deceased describe two days of trying desperately to meet them, and later finding them in blood-soaked clothes. They were kept at the hospital for hours to reduce bleeding and the family dismissed the duo’s medical examination as an eyewash.
However, an officer has shockingly claimed that the father and son were tortured, stripped, and batons were inserted inside their rectums.
Later, the father and son were taken to a magistrate only after 11am the next day. On Sunday, June 21, the family got no information about them. When they sought answers, prison authorities used COVID-19 as an excuse.
Later in the evening, Fenix’s wife got a call saying his blood pressure was critically low. On Monday, June 22, he passed away, his father died hours after him.
The police, meanwhile, narrated a different story. According to them, when Jayaraj was asked by cops after 9pm why the shop was still open, the father-son duo hurled abuses at them. The FIR stated,
Jayaraj and Fenix sat and rolled on the ground. They suffered internal injuries during this act.
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The FIR went as far as claiming that the father-son duo claimed they would beat cops to death.
Thoothukudi SP Arun Balagopalan sought to defend the cops claiming that the deaths happened in “judicial and not police custody”.
Madras High Court Orders Probe
Following outrage, Madras High Court took suo motu cognizance. A bench of Justices PM Prakash and B Pugalendhi ordered a probe and asked police to file a status report.
Trader’s Association Outrage
On Wednesday, Tamil Nadu Vaingar Sangangalin Peravati, the traders’ association, shut all shops across the state to protest against the police brutality.
The broken family now wants cops to be charged with murder.
As On June 29, 2020
After mounting pressure from the opposition and public at large, the death of a father-son duo in Tamil Nadu’s Tuticorin district will be now handed over to Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami said that the state government will seek permission from the court to transfer the Tuticorin custodial death case to (CBI) in the next hearing. He said,
We will seek permission from the Madurai bench of Madras High Court to transfer the Tuticorin custodial death case to Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the next hearing on June 30.
As On July 2, 2020
More than a week after Jayaraj and his son Fenix were brutally tortured in police custody and died as a result of their injuries, the CB-CID has finally registered murder cases against officers of the Sathankulam police station and arrested one of the accused.
The CB-CID on Wednesday arrested a sub-inspector of police along with booking six people on murder charges in connection with the death of father-son duo, allegedly tortured to death at the Sathankulam police station.
The FIRs filed in the case were altered to include murder charges against two SIs — Raghu Ganesh and Balakrishnan — along with two constables and two members of Friends of Police, CB-CID sources said. Both the sub-inspectors have been charged Section 302 (punishment for murder) of the Indian Penal Code.
SI Raghu Ganesh was arrested and remanded by the CB-CID officials, who took over the probe into the case which has triggered a nation-wide outrage.
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