CBI files chargesheet against nine cops for custodial deaths of father-son duo in Tamil Nadu
P Jeyaraj and J BennicksFile photographs

CBI files chargesheet against nine cops for custodial deaths of father-son duo in Tamil Nadu

New Delhi, September 26, 2020

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today filed a chargesheet against nine then police officials of Santhankulam police station in Tamil Nadu in connection with the custodial deaths of a father-son duo in June this year.

The nine officials include S. Sridhar, then Inspector and SHO, K. Balakrishnan, then SI, P. Raghuganesh, then SI, A, S. Murugan, then HC, A. Samadurai, then HC, A. M. Muthuraja, then Constable, S. Chelladurai, then Constable, X. Thomas Francis, then Constable and S. Veilumuthu, then Constable -- all of Sathankulam Police Station in Tamil Nadu.

The chargesheet has been filed under sections 120-B of the Indian Penal Code (ICP), read with sections 302, 342, 201, 182, 193, 211, 218 and 34 and substantive offences thereof in the Designated Court at Madurai.

One more accused, then Sub Inspector died during investigation. The said police personnel were arrested during investigation and are presently in judicial custody, a press release from the agency said.

The CBI had registered two cases on July 8 related to the deaths of two traders, P Jeyaraj and his son J Bennicks in Kovilpatti. It had taken up the case on the request of the Tamil Nadu government and further notification from the Government of India.

The cases in relation to the two deaths had earlier been registered vide Crime no. 649 and 650 at Police Station Kovilpatti. A CBI team has been camped continuously at Madurai, even during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, to investigate the cases.

According to the CBI, the father and son were arrested in the evening of June 19 and allegedly tortured at the Sathankulam Police Station by the accused in the evening as well as that night, consequent to which both of them succumbed to the injuries and died in the intervening night of June 22-23.

After investigation, a combined chargesheet in both the cases has been filed, the release said.

"Further investigation is continuing to look into the role of other persons in the case," it said.

According to reports, Jeyaraj and Bennicks were booked for not closing their mobile shop in time on June 19 by the Sathankulam police in Tuticorin district in Tamil Nadu. They were remanded in judicial custody and lodged in Kovilpatti jail on June 21.

Jeyaraj died on June 22 night and his son Bennicks on June 23 morning in judicial custody. The families alleged that police assault led to their deaths.


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