Cops held for custodial deaths attacked in prison by inmates

Cops held for custodial deaths attacked in prison by inmates
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Cops held for custodial deaths attacked in prison by inmates

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Police officers arrested for the custodial deaths of Jayaraj P and Bennicks J in Tamil Nadu were assaulted by inmates of the Peroorani prison in Thoothukudi district, allegedly in an act of collective retribution for the alleged use of brutal force against the father-son duo from Sathankulam

Chennai: Police officers arrested for the custodial deaths of Jayaraj P and Bennicks J in Tamil Nadu were assaulted by inmates of the Peroorani prison in Thoothukudi district, allegedly in an act of collective retribution for the alleged use of brutal force against the father-son duo from Sathankulam.

The officers, who are in judicial custody for charges including murder, were assaulted at around 4:30pm on Saturday when they accessed the common area in the prison. According to prison authorities, the arrested officers were having a conversation when the attack happened.

Inmates of the Peroorani prison had been tracking the Jayaraj-Bennicks death case closely, according to prison authorities, and it had stoked high passions inside the prison. According to prison officials, the wardens rescued the police officers from the spot and ensured their safety.

Following this incident, the prison administration decided to shift them to another jail. Their first option was the Palayamkottai jail (Central jail), which already houses over a 1,000 inmates, meaning protecting the newcomers would be a challenge, the source said. It has now been decided to move the prisoners to the Madurai Jail.

The deaths of Jayaraj and Bennicks have turned into a national event, exposing the faultlines in the criminal justice system and the lack of sensitisation of the police force to rights of suspects. The arrest of the police officers was hailed with the bursting of firecrackers in Sathankulam.

Apparently, some of the police officers were involved in earlier assaults as well. All five arrested officers have murder charges against them.

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