'What Happened With Jeyaraj and Fenix is Beyond Acceptable': Sunil Chhetri Calls for Justice

Sunil Chhetri took to social media to call for jutice for shopkeeper Jeyaraj (63) and his son Bennix (31), who died in police custody in Thoothukudi district in Tamil Nadu.

Indian football star tweeted Sunil Chhetri: "What happened with Jeyaraj and Fenix is beyond acceptable. Nothing will give them their lives back, but justice should set a precedent, and a very strong one at that."

Jayaraj and Bennix Immanuel were arrested on June 19 and accused of keeping their store open past permitted hours, which reimposed a lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus.

They died in hospital a few days later, officials said, with their family alleging in written complaints that they were severely abused by police and had suffered rectal bleeding.

Two policemen involved in the alleged torture were suspended, the state's Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami said.

He added Sunday that the case would be transferred to federal agency the Central Bureau of Investigation, pending the approval of the Madras High Court.

The deaths in the small town of Sathankulam triggered a protest last week and shopkeepers across Tamil Nadu staged a strike on Wednesday.

Bollywood and Hollywood star Priyanka Chopra Jonas on Saturday also tweeted, as Congress party's Rahul Gandhi described it as a "tragedy when our protectors turn into oppressors".

Earlier, cricketers Ravichandran Ashwin and Shikhar Dhawan also tweeted calling for justice.