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 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. “Between 7 am and 12 pm on June 20, the father and son had changed at least seven lungies each as they had become wet due to blood oozing from their rectums,” Rajkumar, a friend of Benicks, was quoted by the media portal as saying.
The friend also said that thy were instructed to arrange a vehicle for themselves to transport the two to the government hospital in Sathankulam. Then, the father-son duo apparently complained of pain in their rectum. They were also bleeding profusely and their lungis had to be changed on the way to the hospital.
“Thinking the person was Jayaraj, police took him to the station on June 19. Benicks rushed to the station to inquire about it,” said Raja, another friend of Benicks. “After he questioned the police brutality against his father, the policemen held him by his collar and pushed him towards the wall. At least five policemen including the sub-inspector and constables beat him black and blue in front of us,” he added.
People on social media claim that the policemen shoved batons inside the anus of the father and son several times. It is also claimed that their genitalia was also damaged. They were also thrashed brutally in custody, it is alleged.
The Madras High Court has ordered a probe into the matter. “There were complaints that they were killed in police assault..a judicial probe has been ordered,” Tuticorin Collector Sandeep Nanduri said. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami has assured that strict action will be taken based on the findings of the probe.
Benicks passed away at the Kovilpatti General Hospital on June 22 and his father passed in the morning the next day. Meanwhile, two sub-inspectors have been transferred in connection with the matter but the family of the deceased demand that a case of murder be registered against the two.