Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam President MK Stalin on Saturday said that his party will ask the court for a Central Bureau of Investigation probe into the deaths of a father and son in police custody in Tamil Nadu’s Thoothukudi district, if the state government does not thoroughly investigate the case.
“DMK will seek CBI probe in court if Tamil Nadu government does not properly investigate the murder of Jayaraj and Bennix,” Stalin wrote on Twitter.
On Friday, DMK leader and Thoothukudi MP Kanimozhi had written to the National Human Rights Commission seeking immediate action against police personnel and others responsible for thecustodial death of Jayaraj and Bennix.
Jayaraj, 59, and his 31-year-old son Bennix were arrested on June 19 after they kept their mobile accessories shop open beyond permitted hours during the coronavirus lockdown in the state. They were remanded in judicial custody and lodged in the Kovilpatti sub-jail on June 21. Both of them died at a hospital days later. The family has alleged the two were tortured by the police. Four policemen, including two sub-inspectors, have been suspended.
On June 22, Bennix complained of breathing problems and was admitted to a local government-run hospital, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami had said. He died around 9 pm. Jayaraj, who was also hospitalised due to an illness, died the next day. Their relatives alleged that they were thrashed and sexually assaulted by the police. The Madras High Court had directed the police to submit a report in the case on June 26.
The incident has sparked protests in Tamil Nadu and massive outrage on social media. The hashtag #JusticeForJayarajandBennicks became a top trend on Twitter on Friday.