On Tuesday, the Tamil Nadu government has reportedly transferred the Superintendent of Police (Tuticorin) IPS Arun Balagopalan out of the district and put him under ‘compulsory wait’ at the office of the Director-General of Police, in light of the custodial death of P Jayaraj and his son J Benicks. Balagopalan has now been Villupuram SP S Jeyakumar as the Superintendent of Police of Tuticorin.
The district administration of Tuticorin on Tuesday has also directed deputed officials from the Revenue Department to assume charge of Sathankulam police station, following the directives issued by the Madras High Court. As per the report, a Tahsildar and a deputy Tahsildar has been charged to take control of the police station by the district collector, Sandeep Nanduri.
The Madras High Court has asked the deputed officials to preserve ‘clue materials’ in connection to the murder of the father-son duo. Moreover, a forensic team from Madurai was appointed to collect evidence from the station. Following a nationwide outrage over the incident, five policemen have been suspended including an inspector and two sub-inspectors.
Madras High Court summons three cops
The Madras High Court has summoned two police officers and a constable in Tamil Nadu in the Jayaraj and Benicks custodial death case. 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. According to the magistrate’s report to the court, the constable had allegedly told the magistrate that no one could harm them.
The Custodial death of Father-Son duo
The death of a father and son-duo in police custody in Tuticorin has generated a huge outrage in Tamil Nadu. P Jayaraj and his son J Benicks 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. Chennai based news website The Federal has quoted eyewitnesses who claim that the duo were subjected to sexual torture while in jail. Benicks passed away at the Kovilpatti General Hospital on June 22 and his father passed in the morning the next day.