Traders at Sathankulam in Thoothukudi district, who were witness to the chain of events leading to the deaths of Jayaraj and Bennix, the father-son duo who died in police custody, said that a magisterial inquiry revealed at least 80 wounds on their bodies
Other vendors alleged that the policemen had assaulted the two as they refused to give a free smartphone to the local sub-inspector. “SI Balakrishnan had demanded from Bennix a smartphone for free. When Bennix refused, Balakrishnan developed a grudge against him. On June 19, when Balakrishnan was on duty, he went to the shop and argued with Jayaraj following which he was taken to the police station,” said V Gunaseelan, an AAP functionary in Thoothukudi.
“Jayaraj (58) was dragged out of his mobile shop at around 7.30 pm on June 19 by policemen and was taken to the police station, where he was physically tortured. When his son questioned the reason for the arrest of his father, he too was physically tortured the entire night resulting in his death,” Gunaseelan alleged.“As far as I know there was no sexual torture, but people in the know informed me that both the legs of Jayaraj were stretched apart and two policemen stood on his legs following which Jayaraj began to bleed from the rectum,” he added.
Manimaran, the lawyer, who moved the bail application for the duo, said, “There were four cameras inside the station. Inspector Sridar was solely responsible for such custodial deaths. He should have been suspended first.” He added that the victims were not even allowed to urinate during the last three days of their lives. Following the alleged torture, the duo was remanded the next day and was sent to the Kovilpatti sub-jail, where Bennix developed complexities and was admitted in Kovilpatti Government Hospital on June 22. He died in the hospital thereafter. On the next day, Jayaraj was admitted to the GH where he too breathed his last.
Inspector tortured over 40 people: Traders Assn prez
Peikulam Traders Association president B Stalin has levelled accusations against Sathankulam Inspector Sridar, a native of Andipatti, that he’s behind several false cases filed in the station for money. Around 40 innocent people were tortured by him in connection with a murder case reported on May 18. One more youth aged 28, identified as Mahendran, also became a victim of police brutality in Sathankulam station. He was tortured by the police under the pretext of inquiry on June 11. The victim had suffered head injuries and died after he was admitted to a hospital on June 13. However, without even conducting a post mortem examination, the body was buried. “The association will take the issue seriously and move the High Court seeking justice for the ill fated victim,” he said. He said it’s unfortunate that even before post mortem was over, Chief Minister made a statement that the father and son died of chest pain and fever.