New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: A judicial inquiry into the deaths of P Jeyaraj and his son J Bennix due to the alleged police torture by at the Sathankulam police station in Thoothukudi, revealed that nearly a dozen of people were beaten up and tortured by the same police officers two weeks ago, according to a report in The Indian Express.

While two among the tortured were hospitalised following the interventions by judicial officers, one succumbed to his injuries later.

However, the judicial report doesn’t give any clarity of the offence for which, Mahendran, the person who died due to the alleged torture, was taken in custody soon after his brother Durai was arrested.

“Durai’s own younger brother (Mahendran) was beaten to death by the same officers at Sathankulam station, the body was handed over to his mother without post-mortem. The family was threatened that Durai also will be killed in the same manner if they speak out,” The Indian Express quoted a source as saying.

On June 25, The Madras High Court received the report by the Thoothukudi District Judge, who described it as “disturbing information of custodial torture.” The report sought further directions regarding a ‘detailed probe’ into the case and is expected to appear in the court on Tuesday.

The report quoted sources saying that the judicial report found that a fortnight ago, eight people including a minor had been continuously tortured for three days by officers and helped by a volunteer group called ‘Friends of Police’ at the Sathankulam Police Station. The juvenile had been allegedly kept illegally in police custody for two days and beaten up.

According to the report, Sub-Inspectors Balakrishnan and Raghu Ganesh are named to have led the torture while Inspector Sridhar to be held responsible for playing an ‘active role’ and urging them to do so. Subsequently, the same three officers have been named in the deaths of the father-son duo. All three of them have been suspended.

While Sathankulam Judicial Magistrate P Saravanan’s role in clearing the custodial remand of at least one of the dozen among tortured and that of the deceased P Jeyaraj, 62, and his son J Bennix, 32, is being probed, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami recommended to transfer the probe into Jeyaraj and Bennix’s deaths to the CBI on Sunday.

Another tortured, Rajasingh, was first allegedly tortured at Sathankulam Police Station and then at Thattarmadam which is 70 km away. Police picked up Rajasingh in connection with murder along with several others and named him in an autorickshaw theft case of 2017, after having procured his remand.

He told the judicial team that the officers made him lie down on a bench and, as Friends of Police volunteers sat on his legs, someone held his head and hands and the two Sub-Inspectors beat him.

P M Vishnuvardhanan, who is fighting the case of Jeyaraj and Bennix’s death said that Rajasingh’s case was going to be crucial in their fight.

The alleged custodial death of a father-son duo on June 19 in Tamil Nadu's Tuticorin district created an atmosphere of massive outrage against the state police in Tamil Nadu and the rest of the country. The father-son duo were reportedly picked up by the cops under Sathankulam Police station's jurisdiction on June 19 for allegedly violating lockdown rules. 

Posted By: Simran Babbar