Father-son custodial deaths: Case against cops

Father-son custodial deaths: Case against cops
Father-son custodial deaths: Case against cops

Duo assaulted through the night at police station

Chennai: The Madurai Bench of Madras High Court on Tuesday observed that there are sufficient grounds for the registration of a case against police officials in connection with the alleged custodial death of a father and son in Thoothukudi.

The Judicial Magistrate probing the Jayaraj-Bennix custodial killings, in his four-page report, has said there is evidence of assault on the father-son duo.

The magistrate has said that according to eyewitnesses, both the father and the son were assaulted by police officers through the night of June 19, resulting in blood marks on canes and the table on which the victims were laid and beaten.

P Jayaraj, 60, and J Bennix, 31, were arrested by the Thoothukudi police on June 19 for keeping their mobile store open after permitted hours.

Relatives claim that Jayaraj, who was in the store, was picked up by police and verbally abused and assaulted. His son, Bennix, had later gone to the police station to plead with the police to release his father.

"When asked to hand over the canes (lathis), police officers at Satankulam station acted as though they did not hear my command. When I asserted, they reluctantly handed over the lathis," the Magistrate wrote in the report.

He added that police constable Maharajah uttered an expletive behind his back and said, 'I won't be able to do anything'. All this "harassment" was videographed by the police officer there, as per his report.

The court documents will be handed over to CB-CID investigating officer, the Tirunelveli Deputy Superintendent of Police, as a stopgap measure until the CBI takes over the investigation into the case.

The report added that CCTV footage at the police station has been erased as the settings automatically deleted the footage after 24 hours.

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