CB-CID arrests three more cops in father-son duo death case in TN


PTI, Jul 3, 2020, 9:01 AM IST

Tuticorin: The Crime Branch CID sleuths on Thursday, July 2 arrested three more police personnel, including an inspector, in a case of alleged torture by police leading to the deaths of a father-son duo at Sathankulam in this southern district in Tamil Nadu.

The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court, which has been monitoring the case, on Thursday ordered that the matter be transferred from the Judicial Magistrate Court in Kovilpatti to the Chief Judicial Magistrate here.

Following preliminary investigations, inspector Sridhar, head constable Murugan, and sub-inspector Balakrishnan have been arrested, senior police officials said.

With this, the total arrests in the case have risen to four. Sub-inspector Raghu Ganesh was arrested on Wednesday night within hours of the CB-CID taking over the probe into the incident, which has evoked widespread condemnation with demands for stern action against the police personnel.

All the four arrested were remanded to judicial custody by a local court and lodged in a jail in the district, police said.

Meanwhile, police protection has been given to a woman head constable who testified on alleged excesses against the two men at the Sathankulam station.

P Jeyaraj and Bennicks, arrested for “violating” lockdown norms over the business hours of their cell phone shop, died at a hospital in Kovilpatti on June 23 while in judicial custody with the relatives alleging they were tortured at the
Sathankulam police station by the personnel days earlier.

Within hours of taking over the probe on the directions of the high court, the CB-CID on Wednesday slapped murder charges against the accused persons, including sub-inspector Raghu Ganesh.

The two men, Jeyaraj and his son Bennicks, were arrested on June 19 for violation of prohibitory orders by keeping their cellphone shop beyond the allowed time.

They were produced before the duty doctor of a government hospital at Sathankulam in Tuticorin district for medical examination.

The next day, a magistrate remanded them to judicial custody and they were lodged at the Kovilpatti sub-jail.

Bennicks was admitted at a government hospital in Kovilpatti by jail authorities on June 22 at 19.45 hours and he died at 21.00 hours while he was undergoing treatment.

Jeyaraj was also admitted to the same facility at 22.30 hours on the same day and he died at 05.40 hours on June 23.

In the backdrop of outrage against their deaths following alleged police brutality, Chief Minister K Palaniswami had on June 28 announced a CBI probe.

However, pending the central agency taking over the case, the high court directed the CB-CID to step in.

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