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By Saradha | Jun 26, 2020 12:17 PM

In a horrifying incident, a father and son died while they were under the judicial custody of Sathankulam Police in Tuticorin district of Tamil Nadu. The family earlier refused to receive the bodies of 31- year-old J Bennicks (31) and P Jeyaraj (63). The kin demanded a murder case against all cops who were involved in their death. 

Sathankulam Custodial Death: Demand for CBI probe Intensifies

Yesterday, the family received their bodies. As per media reports, when the body was taken from the hospital, many people gathered and raised slogans demanding for justice and insisted that a CBI probe into the case. 

Last rites were performed by the family members of the deceased. Hundreds of people attended the funeral to pay their last respects which included politicians such as DMK MP Kanimozhi and Anitha R Radhakrishnan among others.

Various political leaders have responded to the incident. 

Opposition leader and President of DMK, MK Stalin demanded that the chief minister should take responsibility for the “lock up murder in judicial custody”. DMDK leader Vaiko told that the deaths are actually "murders by the police” and insisted that an enquiry commission should be set up to probe the case. Thoothukudi MP Kanimozhi wrote a complaint to Director General of Police citing the incident as a serious violation human rights and demanded stringent action to be taken against the policemen.

The Madurai Bench of Madras High Court had asked Tuticorin SP Balagopal to file a status report in connection to the custodial deaths. Sub-inspector Balakrishnan and Raghu Ganesh, and constables Murugan and Muthuraj of Sathankulam station have been suspended.

Based on the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court’s order, Kovilpatti Judicial Magistrate Barathidasan held an inquiry with Bennicks’s mother Selvarani and sisters Persis, Beulah and Anisha. 

59-year-old P Jayaraj and 31-year- old son J Bennicks were picked up by the Santhankulam Police for questioning them citing that they kept their mobile accessories shop open during the lockdown on June 19.  Bennicks fell ill and died at the Kovilpatti General Hospital on June 22 and his father died on June 23. Media reports suggest that they were sexually assaulted in police custody. The victim’s family too told the media that the private parts of the victims have been harmed. 

The incident has erupted a huge outrage in Tuticorin. Shops in the district were closed on Wednesday in order to protest the alleged custodial death.



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