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Tamil Nadu Custodial Deaths: CBI Says Father-Son Beaten From 7:45 pm-3 am

Jeyaraj and Benniks were arrested for keeping their mobile phone shop open 15 minutes beyond curfew.

Chennai:

In the custody death of a man and his son in Tamil Nadu in June, the CBI says it has been established that the two were tortured for over six hours by policemen. They were beaten so brutally that blood was splattered on the walls of the police station, forensic evidence reveals.

Jeyaraj and his son Benniks were arrested on June 19 for keeping their mobile phone shop open 15 minutes beyond curfew. After Jeyaraj was taken away by the police, his son, who reached the police station, was also arrested.

The CBI chargesheet says the two were subjected to “several rounds of brutal torture with intervals in between 7.45 pm and 3 am.”

The blunt injuries caused the death of Benniks, according to the post mortem report.

Policemen made Benniks clean the bloodstains in the police station using his vest.

The CBI has also said that a false FIR was registered against Benniks and Jeyaraj to cover up the crime. Investigations have revealed that the two didn’t violate lockdown guidelines.

The police destroyed the evidence and the bloodstained clothes of the father and son were thrown in a dustbin at a government hospital, the CBI says in its chargesheet.

The policemen used sticks to torture the two men. Their blood was splattered on the walls of the Santhankulam police station, which was detected by forensic teams.

“The fact that Benniks and Jeyaraj were subjected to brutal torture by the accused police officials on the evening of June 19, 2020 and the intervening night of 19-20 June in the police station Santhankulam, stands established,” said the CBI.

The two died of their injuries on June 22, within hours of each other. 

There was no CCTV footage of the day the two were allegedly beaten. The court was told by the magistrate that security cameras at the police station were programmed to auto-delete footage every day though there is enough storage space in the system’s hard disk.

The torture and deaths fueled nationwide shock and rage, and triggered a campaign for action against the policemen involved.

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