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Madras High Court summons three Tuticorin police officers in Jayaraj and Bennix custodial death case, takes note of cops interfering with investigation

The Madras High Court noted that the magistrate's report clearly shows the district police administration is doing everything to prevent him from proceeding with the inquiry into the custodial death of father-son duo in Tuticorin.

The Madras High Court has summoned two police officers and a constable in Tamil Nadu in the Jayaraj and Bennix custodial death case. They have been asked to appear before the court on Tuesday at 10.30 am. The court has also asked the state to transfer the three cops, Deputy Superintendent of Police C Prathapan, Additional Deputy Superintendent of Police D Kumar and police constable Maharajan at Santhankulam in Tuticorin, in order to conduct a free and fair inquiry into the case.

The development came after the Judicial Magistrate accused the cops of trying to obstruct him while he was investigating the Jayaraj and Bennix custodial death case at Santhankulam in Tuticorin. According to the magistrate’s report to the court, the constable had allegedly told the magistrate that no one could harm them. “You cannot do anything to us,” constable Maharajan had reportedly said.

Madras High court notes cops interfering with investigation

The High Court noted that the magistrate’s report “clearly shows the district police administration is doing everything to prevent him from proceeding with the inquiry”. It also said the constable had made disparaging remarks.

The Judicial Magistrate had been tasked to investigate the death of the father and son-duo in police custody in Tuticorin after it generated a huge outrage in Tamil Nadu.

3 discrepancies between the FIR filed by Tuticorin police and the CCTV footage

Earlier in the day, Times Now reported glaring discrepancies between the FIRs filed by Tuticorin police and the CCTV footage accessed by the news channel suggesting that the father-son duo did not argue or abuse the police, or roll on the floor as the Police had claimed in the FIR.

Contrary to the claims made by the Police, the CCTV footage suggests that firstly, there was no crowd in front of the shop as alleged. Secondly, there is also no evidence from the CCTV that the duo threatened or abused the Police. Thirdly, the Police claimed that the injuries were self-sustained and a cause of the two of them rolling on the floor. Again, there is no evidence of it from the CCTV footage.

The CCTV footage suggests that the father and son were cooperating fully with the Police and walking towards the Police van in peace and contrary to the claims of the Police in the FIR, there isn’t the slightest hint of aggressive.

Custodial Death causes great outrage

P Jayaraj and his son J Bennix reportedly died after they were picked up by the Police for opening their mobile accessories shop open on June 19 when the lockdown was still in force in the state. It is alleged that they were tortured in custody, which led to their death in the hospital later.

Allegations of sexual torture has been levelled against the Police. According to eyewitnesses, their genitalia was also damaged and they were thrashed brutally. People on social media claim that the policemen shoved batons inside the anus of the father and son several times. The Madras High Court has ordered a probe into the incident and Chief Minister Palaniswami has assured that strict action will be taken based on the findings of the probe.

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Staff reporter at OpIndia

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