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Madras HC Seeks Report in Alleged Custodial Murder of Father-Son in TN

Updated: Jun 27, 2020

The Madras High Court has sought a report on the father-son duo – Jayaraj and Fenix – who were allegedly killed in police custody in Thoothukudi.

More than 1,000 people of Sathankulam town in Tamil Nadu’s Thoothukudi district staged a dharna on Tuesday over the death of two persons in police custody. Shops in the district were shut down on Wednesday in protest. Four policemen, including two sub-inspectors, were suspended pending inquiry by the commissioner and 12 police staff, including an inspector, were transferred.

According to reports, Jayaraj and Feix ran a mobile shop in the town. On Friday, when the former shut down his shop around 8:15 pm, cops on patrol duty reportedly pulled him up for running the store beyond the permitted time owing to restrictions due to the lockdown, and a verbal argument followed. The father and son were reportedly then beaten up and sexually harassed at the police station and then lodged in the sub-jail. Graphic details of their torture have been reported across news agencies as their lawyer and several eyewitnesses came forward in speaking out against the alleged police brutality. '...We Pleaded with Them to Stop': Several eyewitnesses claim but their pleas fell on deaf ears.

Fenix was taken to the Kovilpatti GH, where he died, and the next day the father also died in hospital. Many locals alleged that they had died due to police torture in custody.

Opposition leader President MK Stalin demanded that the chief minister should take responsibility for the “lock up murder in judicial custody” and that the concerned police personnel should be punished.

DMDK leader Vaiko called the deaths a “murder 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 calling this a serious violation of human rights and demanded stringent action against the policemen.

Reporter : Srijan V

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