The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has filed a chargesheet against nine police personnel in the Sathankulam custodial death case. The case pertains to the death of two traders, Jayaraj and Bennix, on June 23 and June 22 respectively, due to the custodial torture inflicted by the Santhakulam police.
In a release, the CBI said that the nine former police personnel of Sathankulam police station named in the chargesheet include inspector K Balakrishnan, two sub inspectors P Raghuganesh and S Murugan , two head constables A Samadurai and M Muthuraja and other constables S Chelladurai, X Thomas Francis and S Vellumuthu. One of the then sub inspectors of the Sathankulam police station who was named in the crime, died due to novel coronavirus infection during the investigation.
The CBI said, “Our investigation revealed that the father-son duo was arrested in the evening of June 19 and was allegedly tortured at the Sathankulam police station by the accused in the evening as well as in the intervening night, consequent to which both of them succumbed to the injuries and died in the intervening night of June 22 and June 23.”
The CBI after the investigation has filed a chargesheet in the two cases and is investigating further to look into the role of other persons, the release said.
The father Jayaraj was picked up by the Sathankulam police station for reportedly keeping the shop open for a few minutes after the lockdown norms. The son Bennix followed the police and reached the station. The police also took Bennix into custody and allegedly tortured the duo. The father-son were also taken to Kovilapatti for lodging them in jail. However, the duo complained of chest pain and both of them were rushed to the Kovilpatti Government Hospital. Bennix died on June 22 while Jayaraj died a few hours later on June 23.
The Madurai bench of the Madras High Court took suo motu cognisance of the case for hearing. Following this, the Tamil Nadu government initially ordered a CB-CID probe and later sought a CBI probe.
The CBI on the request of the Tamil Nadu government, registered two cases on July 7 based on the allegations that Jayaraj and Bennix died due to custodial torture.