There are grounds to charge policemen with murder for the deaths in Tamil Nadu of a man and his son arrested for keeping their shop open beyond curfew during the coronavirus lockdown, the Madras High Court said today based on the post-mortem report of the men.
Two police officers are “on wait” and a constable has been suspended for allegedly trying to block investigations into the deaths blamed on savage beating and torture in custody. All three were summoned by the High Court today.
The High Court has initiated contempt action against Deputy Superintendent of Police C Prathapan, Additional Deputy Superintendent of Police D Kumar and police constable Maharajan based on the report of a Judicial Magistrate who accused them of trying to obstruct his investigations into the deaths at Santhankulam in Tuticorin.
“You cannot do anything to us,” constable Maharajan said, according to the magistrate’s report to the court.
Jeyaraj, 59, and his son Beniks, 31, were arrested on June 19 for keeping their mobile phone shop open 15 minutes beyond lockdown curfew. The police claimed the two had argued and fought with the police, showered verbal abuses and rolled around on the street to fight their arrest.
The two men were allegedly subjected to brutal torture in police custody. Their family alleges they had severe internal and external wounds, including rectal bleeding, when they were released.
Beniks died in hospital on June 22. His father died the next day.
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