TN custodial deaths: CBI reveals how father, son were tortured

Shalini Ojha
·3-min read

TN custodial deaths: CBI reveals how father, son were tortured
TN custodial deaths: CBI reveals how father, son were tortured

27 Oct 2020: TN custodial deaths: CBI reveals how father, son were tortured

Months after the father-son duo — Jayaraj and Bennix — died, CBI divulged details of the inhumane torture they were subjected to inside the Sathankulam Police station.

The cops of the Tamil Nadu town thrashed them for six hours to "teach them a lesson," in a manner that blood was splashed on floors and walls.

They had also forced Bennix to clean the stains.

Series of events: Jayaraj was picked up first for "defying" lockdown

Notably, CBI's findings corroborate the information already available in the public domain.

The probing agency said that Jayaraj, reportedly 62, was picked up from Kamarajar Chowk for allegedly keeping his mobile shop open beyond the permitted time.

Sub-Inspector Balakrishnan, Inspector S Sridhar, Constable M Muthuraja brought Jayaraj to the station and started assaulting him. On learning this, son Bennix had rushed to the station.

Assault: When son raised questions, he was also held

Seeing the brutal assault, Bennix, naturally, asked questions to the cops, only to be manhandled by the accused, said CBI.

"Soon after this, in a fit of rage, deceased Bennix was also wrongfully confined inside the police station and accused SI K Balakrishnan along with other accused persons together started beating Bennix severely," the charge-sheet read, reports The News Minute.

Fact: Teach Bennix a lesson: Accused cop had told others

"In the melee, accused S Sridhar intervened and instigated the accused persons in furtherance of their criminal conspiracy to give Bennix a good beating in order to teach him a lesson on how to behave with the police," the charge-sheet went on.

Details: Cops knew brutal torture could cause death, continued nevertheless

Shockingly, between 7:45 pm and 3 am, the father-son duo was subjected to "several rounds of brutal torture."

CBI said the accused cops knew "well that the injuries caused by them on the person of the deceased Bennix and Jayaraj were sufficient in the ordinary course of nature to cause their death."

The investigation also found that the deceased hadn't violated the lockdown.

Torture: They were stripped, beaten; Jayaraj's pleas fell on deaf ears

Describing the flagrant torture, CBI said their clothes were removed, they were bent over a table, and their hands and feet were held.

"While holding them in that position they were subjected to severe beatings with lathi on buttocks, back and other parts of the body," said CBI.

Jayaraj apprised about his high BP and diabetes, but cops showed no mercy.

Fact: When beating stopped, one cop registered protest

"Whenever there used to be a lull, accused inspector Sridhar used to prod the staff by asking about reasons for silence and thereby instigating them further to start fresh rounds of beating," added CBI. According to the post-mortem report, serious injuries caused Bennix's death.

Clothes: Cops dumped blood-stained clothes, attempted to erase evidence

Moreover, in what seems like a bid to destroy evidence, the cops made the deceased change clothes twice while taking them to court. Rather than handing over the clothes to their family, they were dumped at a government hospital.

Jayaraj and Bennix passed away on June 22, within hours of each other, sparking countrywide outrage and prompting the Madras High Court to step in.

Arrests: Ten were booked; one accused died after contracting coronavirus

So far, ten people have been named as accused in the case. In August, Special Sub-Inspector Paldurai, who was one of the accused, died after contracting coronavirus.

The probe into the case was delayed after two CBI officials tested positive for COVID-19.

In July, the agency had registered two cases after a request from the Tamil Nadu government and notification from the Centre.