Cop accused in Sathankulam custodial deaths dies of COVID-19 in Madurai

SSI Pauldurai, one of the 10 policemen accused in the case was being treated in Government Rajaji Hospital in Madurai after testing positive for COVID-19 while in Madurai Central Prison

Photo for representational purpose only: iStock

Special Sub-Inspector of Police Pauldurai, who was arrested in connection with the Sathankulam custodial death case, died of COVID-19 at a government hospital in Madurai in the wee hours of Monday (August 8).

Pauldurai was arrested along with 10 other accused policemen for their involvement in the alleged custodial torture and death of the father-son duo Jeyaraj and Benniks at Sathankulam police station on June 19.

Police arrested Pauldurai (56) on July 5 along with Chelladurai, Saamadurai, Veyilamuthu and Thomas. The five policemen were arrested for allegedly assisting in the custodial torture of Jeyaraj and Benniks at the police station.

They were booked on charges of murder, tampering with evidence and wrongful confinement and sent to Madurai Central Prison.

On July 24, Pauldurai along with the other accused tested positive for COVID-19 and was admitted to Government Rajaji Hospital in Madurai. As his health deteriorated, his family on August 8 filed a petition with the Madurai police, seeking to shift Pauldurai to a private hospital in Kanyakumari for treatment. While no decision was taken in this regard, Pauldurai died at around 2.30am two days later.

It may be recalled that on June 19, Jeyaraj and Benniks were taken to Sathankulam police station for allegedly not closing their mobile shop after the curfew time. The father-son duo was allegedly assaulted the whole night and remanded under judicial custody on June 20. Days later the father and son succumbed to their injuries.

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