Tamil Nadu: 4 Cops Arrested For Murder In Connection With Custodial Death Of Father-Son Duo In Tuticorin

The Criminal Investigation Department has altered both FIRs - one each for the death of the father and the son - and to include murder charges against two sub inspectors, two constables and two other individuals.

Tamil Nadu   |   2 July 2020 5:24 AM GMT / Updated : 2020-07-23T22:18:36+05:30
Writer : Navya Singh | Editor : Prateek Gautam | Creatives : Abhishek M
Tamil Nadu: 4 Cops Arrested For Murder In Connection With Custodial Death Of Father-Son Duo In Tuticorin

Image Credit: Static India

Four Tamil Nadu policemen have been arrested for the brutal custodial killings of the father-son duo in Tamil Nadu's Tuticorin. Jayaraj and his son Bennix were allegedly tortured and thrashed mercilessly by the cops while in police custody for keeping their shop open for a few minutes longer than allowed amid the COVID-19 lockdown.

Inspector Sridhar, Sub-Inspectors Raghu Ganesh and Balakrishnan and Constable Murugan have been arrested by the Crime Branch of Tamil Nadu's CID (Criminal Investigation Department) under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

"FIRs have been altered to 302 IPC. 12 special teams under IG and SP (CB-CID) are investigating all angles," Shankar, Inspector General (CB-CID) told NDTV.

The CB-CID has altered both FIRs - one each for the death of the father and the son - and to include murder charges against two Sub-Inspectors, two constables and two other individuals.

Earlier, the police had only registered cases of suspicious deaths.

On July 1, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) served notices to the state DGP and SP of Thoothukudi district. In a tweet, the NHRC said it has sought a report from the police officers, which has to "include inquest report, post-mortem examination report, medical treatment record, magisterial enquiry report and health screening report of both victims, within 6 weeks".

The Madurai bench of the Madras High Court, which had conducted its inquiry into the gut-wrenching incident, had asked the CB-CID to take over the case from Tuticorin Police until the CBI takes charge of the probe.

On Tuesday, June 30, the court noted that based on post-mortem reports there were grounds to charge the three policemen with murder.

The court was also told that CCTV footage that could show what happened at the Sathankulam Police Station on June 19, when the two men were arrested and allegedly tortured, had been deleted.

The court then started contempt action against three cops, including a Deputy Superintendent and an Additional Deputy Superintendent, after the judicial magistrate who conducted the inquiry accused them of trying to hinder his inquiry.

However, a key witness, a Head Constable, then mentioned about the brutal attack and the role of the police. The court then asked the police to provide security to the witness, fearing that either the witness or the witness' family could be threatened or intimidated.

The case has generated waves of outrage across the country and on social media. In an official statement on the incident the Chief Minister and his deputy, O Pannerselvam, called the deaths "very unfortunate" and assured justice to the family members.

Jayaraj and Bennix were arrested on June 19 for keeping their mobile phone shop open 15 minutes longer than allowed during the lockdown. The police claimed the two fought, verbally abused and resisted arrest.

The family has alleged the two men were subjected to sexual assault and torture while in police custody, pointing out severe internal and external wounds, including rectal bleeding.

Bennix was admitted to hospital at 7.45 PM on June 22 and he died at around 9 PM. However, his father was admitted around 10.30 PM the same night and died around 5.40 AM the following day.

Also Read: 'Looking For People For Another Custodial Death': TN Cop Suspended For Threatening Milk Vendors On Facebook

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