AIADMK, DMK announce Rs 25 lakh aid each to kin of P Jayaraj, J Fennix

AIADMK, DMK announce Rs 25 lakh aid each to kin of P Jayaraj, J Fennix

Ruling AIADMK and opposition DMK announced a solatium of Rs 25 lakh each to the next of kin of father-son duo P Jayaraj and J Fennix, who died in judicial custody in Tamil Nadu's Tuticorin district after alleged police torture.

In a joint statement, CM K Palaniswami and his deputy O Panneerselvam said on behalf of the party that the two deaths were saddening and unfortunate and announced Rs 25 lakh to the bereaved kin.

On the other hand, DMK's leader and Tuticorin MP Kanimozhi too handed over a cheque for Rs 25 lakh to the family on Friday while demanding an inquiry by the National Human Rights Commission into the deaths.

Announcing the financial assistance, DMK President and Leader of the Opposition in the state Assembly MK Stalin asked who gave permission to the Sathankulam police to carry out the attack on the father-son duo just because they delayed closing their mobile phone shop during the lockdown period. Stalin said the Tamil Nadu CM to take moral responsibility for the deaths.

"The alleged brutal assault on the two men days ago by police was "a result of the AIADMK government allowing them to take law into their own hands at a time when they have to ensure the safety of the public during the lockdown," Stalin alleged in a statement in Chennai on Friday.

He said all those responsible for the alleged 'barbarity' should get tough punishment and his party would support all legal action for it.

The Tamil Nadu government had earlier announced Rs 10 lakh solatium each to the families of P Jayaraj and J Fennix and government jobs to one family member of each deceased.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi too condoled the death of the father-son duo in Tuticorin after being allegedly beaten up by police and said it is a tragedy when protectors turn into oppressors. "Police brutality is a terrible crime. It's a tragedy when our protectors turn into oppressors," Rahul said on Friday.

The incident dates back to June 19 when Jayaraj and Fennix were booked for not closing their mobile shop on time, thus violating lockdown norms. They were remanded in judicial custody and lodged in the Kovilpatti jail on June 21.

A day later on June 22, P Jayaraj died while his son Fennix died hours later on June 23 morning in judicial custody. The families alleged that the duo was severely thrashed at the Sathankulam police station by police personnel earlier.

Taking suo motu cognizance of the custodial deaths, the Madras High Court ordered videotaping of the post-mortems and posted the case to June 26.

The incident had triggered a furore in the state, leading to the suspension of four policemen, including two sub-inspectors.