CBI probe into Sathankulam custodial deaths: Centre issues notification

South India
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The central government has on Tuesday, July 7, issued a notification on the takeover of investigation into the custodial deaths of a father-son duo - P Jeyaraj and J Beniks -- at Sathankulam in Tuticorin district of Tamil Nadu by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

This in response to the plea by chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami to Union home minister Amit Shah, urging the Centre to direct the CBI to take over the probe.

The Madras high court had meanwhile ordered the CB-CID to take over the probe from the local police pending the acceptance of the plea by the central investigating agency. The CB-CID has already recorded the statements of several witnesses and arrested 5 policemen in connection with the crime. The arrested include sub inspectors Raghuganesh and Balakrishnan, inspector Sridhar and head constable Murugan.

A woman head constable from the station who is also a primary eye witness has given her statement to the CB CID, according to a News Minute report. She had told the Kovilpatti magistrate during his inquiry at the police station that she had seen Jayaraj and Bennix being assaulted by the police and that lathis and tables were blood stained after the attack on them.

During the inquiry, the magistrate had stated that police in the Sathankulam station, including the Deputy Superintendent of police and additional Superintendent of police attempted to intimidate him. A constable allegedly abused the magistrate and there was a deliberate attempt to hide or not submit evidence. Following this all policemen, DSP and ADSP from the Sathankulam station were transferred to allow for a fair probe.

Image Credit: The Hindu

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