Policeman vandalises shop, faces action

Police atrocities continue to happen in Tamil Nadu amid the Covid-19 induced lockdown. After a CCTV footage showed a head constable attached to Umarabad police station throwing an electronic weighing machine from a grocery shop and damaging it, went viral on social media.

The policeman was transferred to the armed reserve police. Tirupattur SP S Vijayakumar personally handed over a new weighing machine to the shopkeeper and apologized for the incident.

The death of a father and son in police custody in Tamil Nadu’s Tuticorin following allegations of torture is snowballing into a major political row and has triggered calls for law enforcement reform.

Earlier this week, Jayaraj, 59, and his son Bennix, 31, were allegedly brutalised by the Sathankulam police for reportedly keeping their mobile shop open for a few minutes after the permitted time.

Their death has sparked public outrage and two sub-inspectors have been suspended so far. #JusticeForJayarajAndFenix has also become a top trend on Twitter.

“Reeling from what I’m hearing. Absolutely stunned, sad and angry. No human being deserves such brutality, whatever be their crime. The guilty must not be allowed to go unpunished. We need facts. I cannot even begin to imagine what the family must be going through. Sending strength and prayers. We need to use our collective voices to seek #JusticeForJayarajandBennicks ,” actor Priyanka Chopra tweeted on the incident.

Jignesh Mevani, an independent MLA from Gujarat and a Dalit rights activist, took on Twitter to register his dismay over the incident.

“Dear Bollywood celebrities, have you heard what happened in Tamil Nadu or does your instagram activism only extend for other countries? The George Floyds of India are far too many. The story of such police violence & sexual abuse is just heartbreaking,” Mevani said.

Jayaraj and his son Beniks were arrested for keeping their mobile phone shop in Tuticorin open beyond permitted hours last Friday and died at a hospital four days later. The relatives alleged that they were severely thrashed at the Sathankulam police station by police personnel.

They allege that there were injuries to the rectum and other tell-tale signs of torture on the two bodies like tufts of hair pulled from the chest, and demanded murder charges against the policemen involved. The two men had been charged with criminal intimidation and verbally abusing the cops.