The demise of P Jayaraj and his sonFenix in Tuticorin has led to an outrage in the state of Tamil Nadu and online. Netizens have come forward asking for police accountability and justice for the two businessmen. Bollywood celebrities including, Priyanka Chopra, Taapsee Pannu, Neha Dhupia, Vir Das, Riteish Deshmukh and others have also called out police brutality and demanded justice.
According to reports, P Jayaraj and his son Fenix were arrested on June 19, for violating lockdown norms and keeping the shop open for 15 minutes over the allotted time. Jayaraj died on June 22 night and his son Fenix on June 23 morning in judicial custody. The family has claimed that the two were severely thrashed and tortured at a police station and are demanding murder charges. The four policemen, including two sub-inspectors, have reportedly been suspended.
Shocked to hear the news, Priyanka Chopra took to Twitter and wrote, "Reeling from what I am feeling. Absolutely stunned, sad and angry. No human being deserves such brutality whatever be the crime. The guilty must not be allowed to go unpunished. We need facts. I can't even begin to imagine what the family must be going through. Sending strength and prayers. We need to use our collective voices to seek #JusticeForJayarajandBennicks."
Many actors including Priyanka Chopra, Genelia D'Souza and Kiara Advani have shared a viral video which allegedly explains what happened in the police custody. The caption to the video reads, "This video explains everything and i will also address the blackpink issue in this so non-indians can understand what is going on, and I will attach petitions and other things so you all can understand and hopefully support #JusticeforJayarajAndFenix."
Some of the other tweets shared by celebrities are by Parineeti Chopra, Shikhar Dhawan, Tammannah Bahtia, and others.
What happened to a father and son at the hands of those policemen is wrong at every human level and every single person irrespective of place of origin or political belief needs to stand up for them. It is plain horrific and wrong. DEMAND action. #JusticeforJayarajAndFenixVir Das (@thevirdas) June 26, 2020
We go to the police when we are in danger. How can they BE the danger? Every single cop involved in their death needs to pay for this. I cannot imagine the pain the father and son went through. #JusticeForJeyarajAndFenixParineeti Chopra (@ParineetiChopra) June 27, 2020
Horrified to hear about the brutality inflicted upon Jeyaraj & Fenix in Tamil Nadu. We must raise our voice and make sure justice is given to the family. 🙏 #JusticeForJeyarajAndFenixShikhar Dhawan (@SDhawan25) June 26, 2020
This might just be one case out of many but it takes only one case to begin the snowball effect. #JusticeforJayarajAndFenixtaapsee pannu (@taapsee) June 26, 2020
It could’ve been anyone we know. Details are scary and gut wrenching.
Beaten to death by the police in the times of a #pandemic .Is just the suspension of these policemen enough? Is nt there crime more heinous than those who were trying to make a livelihood? We are outraged by the extent of brutality... #JusticeForJeyarajAndFenix #EveryLifeMattersNeha Dhupia (@NehaDhupia) June 27, 2020
Numbed to silence reading the nauseating #Tuticorin incident. Strongly urge the authorities to set an example and not let these abhorrent uniformed criminals get away with this gut-wrenching violation of human rights and the ranks they hold. #JusticeForJeyarajAndFenixNimrat Kaur (@NimratOfficial) June 27, 2020
Aghast & ashamed! How barbaric can humankind be in tough times like these? This is an insult to the very essense of humanity. Brutality in all forms & at all levels needs to stop. Justice needs to be served.The law is equal for all & nobody is above it. #JusticeForJeyarajAndFenixTamannaah Bhatia (@tamannaahspeaks) June 27, 2020
This is tragic & absolute National Shame. It sends shivers down my spine even reading about it. We all must stand together against this barbaric brutality. #JusticeForJeyarajAndFenix https://t.co/Srn5GFaG7pRiteish Deshmukh (@Riteishd) June 26, 2020
Earlier this week, the Tamil Nadu government announced Rs 10 lakh solatium each to the families of Jayaraj and Fenix. One family member of each will be also be given a government job. Meanwhile, the High Court has ordered videotaping of the post-mortems and had adjourned the case to June 26.