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Sathankulam deaths: Jayaraj’s wife appears before trial court

The aggrieved Selvarani, wife of P Jayaraj, a trader from Sathankulam, Thoothukudi district and mother of Bennix, who died last year after allegedly being subject to torture in custody by police, appeared before the court of First Additional District Judge V Padmanabhan in Madurai on Wednesday.

Sathankulam deaths: Jayaraj’s wife appears before trial court
Jayaraj; Bennix (File Photo)


Selvarani is one of the key witnesses in the case concerning the double murder and her statements were heard in the trial court. Earlier, nine police personnel facing accusations in the double murder case, have been produced before the court amidst tight security. 

Selvarani, while talking to reporters, said both her husband Jayaraj and son Bennix were in good health on the fateful day when they stepped out of the house. During his last call, Jayaraj while on his way to prison said whatever happened, happened and asked her to move to her brother’s house. After the demise of Jayaraj and Bennix, Selvarani, who broke down in tears, said she had no support and hence sought justice in the court. Further, Selvarani said she’s expecting a favorable and swift verdict in the case. Percy, her daughter, accompanied her. 

It is unfortunate that Jayaraj, who was arrested on June 19 by the Sathankulam police last year, died on June 22 as a result of physical torture by the Sathankulam police. His son Bennix, who approached the Sathankulam police station following the arrest of Jayaraj, also suffered similar physical torture and died in the morning of June 23. 

On June 19, Jayaraj and Bennix were picked up for questioning by Sathankulam police for allegedly violating lockdown rules by keeping their mobile accessories shop open beyond permissible hours. 

After the police brutality came to light, the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court took suo moto cognizance of the incidents and proceeded with the case. 

Tamil Nadu Crime Branch-CID police arrested 10 police personnel of Sathankulam police station in connection with the custodial deaths. The state government on June 29 last year transferred the custodial deaths case to the CBI. The Judge, after hearing from both sides, adjourned the case to August 11.

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