Sattankulam custodial deaths: TN to hand over probe to CBI, says CM

Cheryl Sanders
June 29, 2020

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam President MK Stalin on Saturday said that his party will ask the court for a Central Bureau of Investigation probe into the deaths of a father and son in police custody in Tamil Nadu's Thoothukudi district, if the state government does not thoroughly investigate the case.

The father and son duo P. Jeyaraj and J. Bennicks were booked for not closing their mobile shop in time on June 19 by the Sathankulam police in Tuticorin district in Tamil Nadu. The family alleged that both were brutally thrashed and subjected to extreme torture by police personnel while in custody.

The report by Dr Venkatesh, who is attached to the Kovilpatti Government Hospital and was summoned to the Kovilpatti sub-jail to examine and treat the two detainees on June 20, recorded that both father and son had suffered injuries in the gluteal region, while the son had also suffered an injury on his right knee.

Demanding that "whoever responsible" for the deaths of the two traders should be brought to Justice, Kamal Haasan said looking at the initial actions taken by the AIADMK government like suspension of two police sub-inspectors, it "appears they have not gone down to the true nature of the crisis".

On June 22, Bennix complained of breathing problems and was admitted to a local government-run hospital, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami had said. Their relatives alleged that they were thrashed and sexually assaulted by the police. He has stated that the process would involve informing the Madurai bench of Madras High Court and with the court's consent, the case will be handed over to CBI.

The hashtags #JusticeForJayarajAndBennix and #JusticeForJayarajAndFenix have been trending on all social media platforms for the last couple of days.

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