Chennai: A man and his son who died after their detention for violating the coronavirus lockdown in June, were tortured for over six hours by policemen who “wanted to teach them a lesson” in how to conduct with cops. Jeyaraj (59), and his son Benniks(31), were thrashed so brutally that blood was splashed on the walls of the police station, as per the forensic evidence. Jeyaraj and Benniks were captured on June 19 for keeping their mobile phone shop in Thoothukudi 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 charge sheet says the two were subjected to “several rounds of brutal torture with intervals in between 7.45 pm and 3 am”.Benniks was compelled by the policemen to clean the blood on the floor of the police station using his vest. The police filed a false FIR against Benniks and Jeyaraj to cover up the crime. Probes indicate that the two didn’t violate lockdown guidelines”, CBI says.
The bloodstained clothes of the two men were changed twice the next day when they were taken to court. The clothes were not given over to their family but were ditched in the trash at a government hospital, the CBI says in its charge sheet. Citing various witnesses, obvious torture of the father and son by policemen using sticks. Their blood was splashed on the walls of the Santhankulam police station, which was noticed by forensic teams.
“The fact that Benniks and Jeyaraj were subjected to cruel torture by the police officials on the evening of June 19, 2020, and the intervening night of 19-20 June in the police station Santhankulam,” said the CBI. The two were beaten and tortured for hours by policemen, started by inspector S Sridhar.
” Sridhar interfered and provoked the accused persons (cops) in the progress of the criminal conspiracy to give Benniks a good beating to teach him a lesson on how to conduct with police,” the charge-sheet says.”Whenever there used to be a break, accused inspector Sridhar used to urge the staff by asking about causes for silence and thereby provoking them further to start fresh rounds of beating.”
Their clothes were removed, they were made to bend over a table in their underwear and their hands and feet were held as they were beaten. “While holding them in that position they were subjected to severe beatings with lathi on buttocks, back and other parts of the body through Jeyaraj begged that given his high blood pressure and diabetic condition he would not be able to sustain such grievous injuries still no one paid any heed and accused police officials continued with several rounds of brutal torture with intervals in between 7:45 pm on 19.6.2020 to 3 am on 20.6.2020,” the charge-sheet says.
The two died of their injuries on June 22, within hours of each other. Blunt injuries caused the death of Benniks, according to the post mortem report. The injuries included serious, big wounds “with peeled skin”.The torture and deaths caused nationwide shock and outrage and started a campaign for action against the policemen involved.