'Custodial death' of Father-Son sparks massive outrage in Tamil Nadu's Tuticorin

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="640"] While Bennicks (right) fell ill and died at the Kovilpatti General Hospital on June 22, his father died on the morning of June 23. (Photo: Twitter)[/caption]

The death of a father-son duo in police custody, allegedly due to police brutality and torture, has caused an uproar in Tamil Nadu's Tuticorin district. The Madurai bench of the High Court took cognizance of the matter and directed the police to submit a report on July 26 over the death of the duo.

Shops in the district remain closed on Wednesday and people came out on the streets to protest the alleged custodial death of the two traders in Sathankulam police station, even as a judicial probe has been ordered into the matter.

As per reports, Jayaraj(59 yrs) and his son Bennicks(31yrs) were arrested on June 19 for allegedly violating the lockdown restrictions. The family stated that the two were picked up for questioning for keeping their mobile accessories shop open during the lockdown and were trounced by the police officials while in custody, leading to their deaths. While Dennis fell ill and died at the local patti General hospital on June 22, his father died on the morning of June 23.

The family has demanded that a murder case be registered against the two sub-inspectors, alleging they were responsible for their death.

Now the media reports have suggested that the duo had been brutally sexually assaulted by the police personnels while in custody. The case seems to have numerous turns as several eye witnesses account that the duo was sexually assaulted by the police and severely tortured merely for violating the norms of the lockdown.

A chennai based news site - The Federal has quoted eyewitnesses saying that Jayaraj and his son Bennicks were allegedly sodomised in police custody. The Federal reported that when the father-son duo was released from jail, they were found profusely bleeding from their private parts and a friend also stated the they came out of prison in a dishevelled appearance with torn and bloodied clothes.

The Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Edappadi.K Palaniswami came out and provided compensation of Rs. 10 Lakhs and government jobs to the family of the deceased. The CM further said that the two policemen alleged to be responsible for the deaths had been suspended, but the protesters have demanded justice for the duo.