Headlines June 28, 2020
Police custody deaths in TN spark off outrage
19 June was yet another working day for 58-year-old Jayaraj and his 31 year old son Bennicks who owned a mobile shop at Thoothukudi in Tamil Nadu. But fate had brutal plans for the father-son duo.
According to reports, Jayaraj was picked up by the police at Santhakulam police station. Upon hearing about his father’s arrest, Bennicks rushed to the station with a friend when Bennicks was also arrested. The reason was that they opened their mobile shop even after working hours ended during the lockdown. Their friends and relatives were not allowed to see them while in police custody.
While Bennix passed away on 23 June, Jayaraj breathed his last on 24 June, reportedly due to police assault and brutality in custody. The hashtag #JusticForJayarajAndFenix is now trending on social media.
Reports state that the father-son duo were taken for a medical check-up and then later to Kovilpatti sub-jail soon after their arrest. Both Jayaraj and Bennicks were injured and were bleeding profusely ever since they were in police custody. Bennicks died on 23 June after complaining of high fever and chest pain. While Jayaraj passed away the next day due to respiratory illness.
Jayaraj’s wife Selvarani lodged the complaint in which she stated that her husband and son died due to police brutality.
Protests have intensified across Tamil Nadu. Last Tuesday, more than 1000 people protested in front of the police station. Two sub-inspectors have also been arrested in connection with the case.
Opposition leaders said that state Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami must respond to this police brutality and take strict action against the perpetrators.
Reactions on social media
Many prominent personalities took to their social media to speak up for Jayaraj and Bennicks.
“This is heartbreaking .I am disgusted. This kind of brutality is inhuman and no one has the right to treat another life in this manner .Makes me sick to the stomach. Strength to the family members of the deceased .This should not be tolerated. I demand #JusticeforJayarajAndFenix”, tweeted actor Rakul Preet.
“This might just be one case out of many but it takes only one case to begin the snowball effect. #JusticeforJayarajAndFenix It could’ve been anyone we know. Details are scary and gut wrenching”, tweeted actor Taapsee Pannu.
“What happened to a father and son at the hands of those policemen is wrong at every human level and every single person irrespective of place of origin or political belief needs to stand up for them. It is plain horrific and wrong. DEMAND action. #JusticeforJayarajAndFenix”, tweeted comedian/actor Vir Das.
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