Trader, son die after ‘torture’ by police, shops in TN shut demanding justice

Though the police force is being appreciated for its good work during the Covid-19 times, there are a few who bring bad name to the department with their acts.

Even before the shock waves generated by the incident of a policeman assaulting a TNEB worker near Chennai could settle down, a more shocking, or brutal incident, happened in southern Thoothukudi district

Tension gripped the Sathankulam after a father-son duo, who were allegedly tortured while in police custody for two days, died within hours of each other.

60-year-old P Jeyaraj and his son 31-year son Fenix were taken into custody by police on June 19 over an argument after they kept their mobile phone shop open beyond the permissible time of 9 pm.

Two days later, they were shifted to Kovilpatti sub-jail in the district from where they were shifted to the Government Hospital after their health worsened. While the son died on Monday night, the father breathed his last around 8 am on Tuesday.

Relatives and friends of the father-son du alleged they were brutally assaulted by the Sathankulam police overnight before they were sent to the Kovilpatti sub-jail on Saturday. Reports said Bennix had injuries on his buttocks and knees and Jayaraj had injuries to his knees when they were brought to jail.

Agitated traders of Sathankulam town downed shutters and staged a protest accusing the police of custodial brutality. Two sub-inspectors have been placed under suspension and an autopsy will be held on Wednesday.

Jayaraj’s wife Selvarani has lodged a complaint, alleging that police brutality led to the death of her husband and son. In her complaint letter to the district criminal court and Assistant Commissioner, she said the police brutally attacked her husband and son, used curse words, and threatened to kill them. She urged them to book the police officers responsible under section 302 of the IPC and suspend them from duty.

Condemning the killing, all trader union bodies, various political outfits, activists, and the local public staged protests in various parts of the State. Shops have been closed across Tamil Nadu today demanding justice.

It is felt that mere transfer or suspension of the policemen involved in the incident is not enough and stringent punishment as per law is the need of the hour to prevent such acts in future.