The Central Bureau of Investigation on Wednesday took over the probe into the deaths of a father and son in police custody in Tamil Nadu’s Thoothukudi city last month, PTI reported. The agency registered two cases in connection with the deaths of the duo.
Jayaraj and his son Bennix died after being allegedly brutally tortured in police custody. They were taken into custody on June 19 for questioning as they had kept their mobile accessories shop open outside permitted hours during the lockdown to contain the coronavirus. They were later sent to the Kovilpatti sub-jail. On June 22, Bennix complained of breathing problems and was admitted to a local government-run hospital. He later died at the facility. His father died the next day.
CBI has sent a special team to Thoothukudi to begin investigation into the case, unidentified officials told PTI.
Five more policemen are being questioned by the Crime Branch and Criminal Investigation Department in connection with the deaths of Jayaraj and Bennix, according to the news agency. Last week, the CB-CID had arrested five policemen on charges of murder. The five policemen were identified as Sub-Inspectors Raghu Ganesh and Balakrishnan, Inspector Shridhar and constables Murugan and Muthuraj.
The Madras High Court had directed CB-CID to take over the case from Thoothukudi Police until the CBI took charge.
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The Madras High court had observed earlier last week that there was ample evidence to charge the policemen involved in the custodial deaths with murder. The court had said that postmortem reports of the two men showed that they had suffered grievous injuries.
The custodial deaths in Tamil Nadu had triggered massive public outrage. The state government had transferred the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation after approval from the Madras High Court on June 29.