Why no FIR against cops responsible for Tamil Nadu custodial deaths, MP Kanimozhi asks
Kanimozhi, Lok Sabha MP from Thoothukudi in Tamil Nadu took to Twitter to question the state government's silence over the alleged custodial deaths of Jayaraj and his son J Beniks.
In a post on Saturday, Kanimozhi said, "Inspite of the clear guidelines given by the NHRC, and even after 4 days, No FIR has been filed in the Sathankulam custodial murder case and no one has been arrested. Why is the Govt/CM still silent. What are they waiting for? #JUSTICEFORJAYARAJANDBENNIX"
Earlier this week, MP Kanimozhi had written a letter to Tamil Nadu Director General of Police (DGP) JK Tripathy asking him to take strict action against policemen responsible for the custodial deaths. On Friday, she also wrote to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to probe circumstances that led to Jayaraj and Beniks' deaths.
The deaths of 59-year-old Jayaraj and his 31-year-old son Beniks have triggered nationwide outrage. As per reports and a complaint lodged by Jayaraj's wife Selvarani, the father and son duo were pulled up by police for opening their mobile phone shop beyond permissible hours. This is what is believed to have led to a scuffle between police personnel and the two deceased that resulted in their arrest.
Ship-owners associations and traders’ unions in Tamil Nadu have also launched a protest against the two custodial deaths.
Following their arrest last Saturday, the father and son were taken to the Sathankulam police station and booked under several sections of the IPC, including Section 188 and 353. They were then taken to the Kovilpatti sub-jail on Sunday.
Locals alleged that Jayaraj was taken to the Kovilpatti government hospital with high fever and Beniks after he complained of chest pain. While the son died on Monday evening, the father succumbed to respiratory illness the next morning.
Responding to claims made by Jayaraj's wife, Thoothukudi district collector Sandeep Nanduri told media outlets that two sub-inspectors have been suspended in connection with the deaths and a probe is underway. He also said that autopsy of both bodies will take place at the Tirunelveli Medical College and Hospital in the presence of a judicial magistrate. Nanduri also said that all police officers in the Sathankulam police station will be transferred.
In the wake of reports and accounts alleging that the father and son were mercilessly tortured in police custody that led to their deaths, the Madras High Court had instructed the police to submit a report on July 26 in this regard.
Family members of Jayaraj and Beniks have also refused to accept their mortal remains until a case under Section 302 (Murder) of the OPC is registered against the responsible police personnel.