The brutal murder of two traders, Jayaraj P and his son J Benicks, in police custody has created massive outrage in Tamil Nadu's Tuticorin. Many even compared the killings of George Floyd in the US in May that sparked worldwide outrage to the custodial deaths of the father son duo in Tamil Nadu.
A day after reports of the inhumane torture and death of two shopkeepers at the hands of Tamil Nadu Police came to light, residents of the state as well as netizens have been protesting, seeking action against the cops responsible for the deaths.
On Monday, police officers took P Jayaraj, who owned a mobile phone repair shop with his son Benicks into police custody as the store was open beyond coronavirus lockdown curfew. Later, his son went to the police station to enquire about his father.
Several eye-witnessed claim that the police had assaulted both of them and took turns to beat them up until they were profusely bleeding. Some also claim that the cops inserted metal objects into one of the victims' rectum.
The victims died in the intervening night of Monday and Tuesday at the hospital.
The issue is also being seen from a perspective of a caste-based atrocity after the Indian National Congress' twitter handle made public the caste names of the victims.
Many took to social media to raise their voices against the custodial killing of the father-son duo and demanded strict action against the perpetrators of the brutality using the hashtag #JusticeForJayrajAndFenix.
Celebrities, too, have taken to social media demanding action against those involved in the death of the duo.
Social activist Jayaram Venkatesan asked, "People say there are good cops and bad cops. What is the use of good cops if they don't stand by the victims and ensure justice for victims. Why are good cops not seeking the arrest of the killer police?"
Why haven't the erring policemen been arrested as yet? Tamil Nadu Police is one of the finest in the country but the rotten apples in its midst need to be removed. #JusticeForJeyarajAndFenix— Sumanth Raman (@sumanthraman) June 26, 2020
YOU CAN'T RAPE AND KILL SOMEONE FOR KEEPING THEIR SHOP OPEN A LITTLE PAST CURFEW. NO BODY DESERVES THIS KIND OF GRUESOME DEATH. STOP WHAT YOU'RE DOING AND SPREAD AWARENESS, SIGN PETITIONS, AND REMEMBER THAT ALL COPS ARE BAD.#JusticeForJeyarajAndFenix#ACAB— AJ 🏳️🌈 // Geminist (@crackanksha) June 26, 2020
petition in thread.
India is probably the one country where police brutality during lockdown were shared as funny forwards on WhatsApp. Police in this country get away with bare terrorism with next to no consequences. They're quite literally untouchable #JusticeForJeyarajAndFenix— Ash (@Pewiwannadiepie) June 26, 2020
Ppl say there r good cops and bad cops. What is the use of good cops if they dont stand by the victims nd ensure justice for victims. Y are good cops not seeking arrest of the killer police? What r they fearing for? Whats d use if they dont speak now? #JusticeForJeyarajAndFenix— Jayaram Venkatesan (@JayaramArappor) June 26, 2020
IF YOU THINK TWEETING AND RETWEETING WON'T HELP THEN YOU ARE SIMPLY IGNORANT BECAUSE IT WILL HELP TO RAISE AWARENESS JUST LIKE IT DID FOR #GeorgeFloyd AND PUSH FOR JUSTICE.#JusticeForJeyarajAndFenix pic.twitter.com/hAhrwjinWp— Prisha Saha🏳️🌈 (@yoflamocard) June 26, 2020
The relatives of the two victims had said they would not accept the bodies till their demand was met, even as the post mortem was held at the Tirunelveli Government Hospital. The family of Jayaraj and Bennicks have demanded that a murder case be registered against two sub-inspectors.
However, they later accepted the bodies on Thursday, after they were assured that justice will be served.
Jayaraj's daughter Persis, said, "My brother and father were brutalised and their death has to be filed as dual murders and severe action should be taken against the policemen and we are hoping that this will happen."
Four policemen (two SIs and two constables) in the Sathankulam police station were suspended and the inspector in-charge had been transferred.
Arun Balagopalan, SP, Thoothukudi said, "These are serious allegations and we have initiated the action of suspension of two SIs and two constables and one transfer of an inspector."
However, public outcry has called the punishment insufficient.