The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has filed a charge sheet against 9 policemen for the murder of two individuals, namely, P Jeyaraj and J Benicks, in police custody in Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu. The incident had triggered a nationwide outrage in June this year. In the charge sheet, the CBI has revealed that the father-son duo was mercilessly tortured on June 19 at the Sathankulam police station. The victims succumbed to their injuries on June 22 and June 23.
9 policemen suspended from their jobs
The accused cops include 2 head constables, four constables, two sub-inspectors and an Inspector/Station House Officer (SHO). They are identified as Inspector S Sridhar, sub-inspectors K Balakrishnan and P Raghuganesh, constables M Muthuraja, S Chelladurai, Thomas Francis and S Veilumuthu. The list also included head constables S Murugan and A Samadurai. One of the accused died during the course of the investigation. They have now been suspended from their jobs. The police personnel are charged for misconduct, producing fake evidence and making false charges and criminal actions.
Case handed over to CBI
A CBI team had registered 2 cases on July 7, at the request of Tamil Nadu government and Centre’s notification, in connection to the custodial death of the victims. The investigative agency is also probing the role of other people in the case. The CBI team, stationed in Madurai, had earlier told the Madras High Court in August that the victims died due to multiple injuries.
Custodial death of the father-son duo
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. “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 they 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.
After the incident, Tuticorin police had said that the father-son duo had argued with the police and also abused the policemen. But CCTV footage had proved that the police allegations were wrong, and Jeyaraj and Benicks had cooperated with police. The Superintendent of Police in Tuticorin, IPS officer Arun Balagopalan was transferred out of the district and he was put under ‘compulsory wait’ at the office of the Director-General of Police by the state govt.