Tamil Nadu govt. to transfer Tuticorin custodial death case to CBI

South India

Amid the growing outrage across Tamil Nadu over the custodial death of a father-son in Tuticorin on June 23, the Tamil Nadu government has decided to transfer the probe into the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami was quoted as saying by PTI on Sunday (June 28) that the investigation into the case would be transferred to the central agency with the approval of Madras High Court.

On June 19, P Jayaraj (59) and his son J Beniks (31) were picked up for questioning by the Tamil Nadu Police in Tuticorin's Sathankulam for allegedly violating lockdown rules. As per the police, the duo was held for keeping their mobile accessories shop beyond permissible hours on June 19. An FIR was filed against the two on June 19, an India Today report said.

They were allegedly brutally thrashed by the police while in custody, leading to their deaths. While Fenix fell ill and died at the Kovilpatti General Hospital on June 22, his father died on the morning of June 23.

Media reports quoted Jayaraj’s wife as saying that that Jayaraj and his son were brutally beaten up before they were shifted to the jail. "Between 7 am and 12 pm on June 20, the father and son had changed at least seven lungies (waistcloth) each as they had become wet due to bleeding,” The Federal quoted a friend of Benik's as saying.

The friend also said the father-son duo came out of prison in a dishevelled state with torn and bloodied clothes. Beniks' friend, who was also were present in the police station when the police rounded them up, told the news outlet that for three hours, they heard only screams and cries of Jayaraj and Beniks.

Ever since the news of the deaths first broke, the district of Tuticorin has seen widespread turmoil and protests have broken out in several parts of Tamil Nadu. Across the state several trader union bodies, political outfits, activists, have staged protests against the death of the duo. In Tuticorin, traders downed shutters, protests were held throughout the week, the India Today report said.

Image Credit: Asianet News

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