Tamil Nadu custodial deaths case: 4 more cops held, people celebrate arrests by bursting crackers

On Tuesday, the Madras High Court asked the CB-CID to probe the case. The probe team conducted enquiries with the family members of the deceased and also in the market where the two men ran their mobile phone shop.
Villagers in Tamil Nadu’s Tuticorin stage a protest against the death of Jayaraj and his son Bennicks, on Sunday.(PTI File Photo)
Villagers in Tamil Nadu’s Tuticorin stage a protest against the death of Jayaraj and his son Bennicks, on Sunday.(PTI File Photo)
Updated on Jul 02, 2020 10:08 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, Chennai | ByRamesh Babu | Edited by: Amit Chaturvedi

The Crime Branch-CID (CB-CID) on Thursday arrested four people in connection with the deaths of two people in police custody in Tamil Nadu’s Tuticorin. Those arrested include Inspector Sridhar, who reportedly asked other policemen to thrash the father-son duo after their arrest.

Sub-inspector Raghu Ganesh was arrested on Wednesday. Total five policemen - one inspector, one sub-inspector and three constables - have so far been arrested in the case.

People came out in large numbers and burst crackers to celebrate the arrests in Sathankulam, where the incident took place.

P Jayaraj (59) and his son J Bennicks (31) were arrested on June 19 and lodged in Kovilpatti sub-jail for keeping their mobile phone shop in the main market of Sathankulam town open during a curfew imposed during coronavirus lockdown.

Jayaraju and Benicks were allegedly tortured during the police custody after which they were admitted to the Kovilpatti government hospital on June 22. While the son died on the same night, the father breathed his last on the morning of June 23.

A policewoman is the only eyewitness in the case, and she told Judicial magistrate M S Barathidasan, who investigated the incident, that both Jayaraj and Bennicks were beaten through the night on June 19.

“There were blood stains on the lathis and a table,” she said and asked the magistrate to obtain them immediately.

The state government has decided to give full protection to the woman head constable.

On Tuesday, the Madras High Court directed the CB-CID’s Tirunelveli Deputy Superintendent of Police Anil Kumar to probe the death of the two traders. Though the Tamil Nadu government has already handed over the cases to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the court directed a CB-CID probe into the matter saying it feared that evidence could disappear by the time CBI took over the probe.

The probe team conducted enquiries with the family members of the deceased and also in the market where the two men ran their mobile phone shop.

Investigators also visited the Sathankulam police station which has since been brought under the Revenue department under the high court’s direction.

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Thursday, December 02, 2021