Jeyraj, Bennicks beaten for 6 hrs, blood splattered on station walls: CBI

Report says Santhankulam police destroyed evidence, filed false case against father-son duo to cover up their own crime

Jayaraj and Bennicks, custodial death, Tamil Nadu, Tuticorin, CrPC, right of those arrested
Jayaraj and his 31-year-old son Bennicks succumbed to injuries allegedly received when they were in police custody.

The charge sheet prepared by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the Santhankulam custodial deaths case has revealed that father-son duo Jeyaraj and Bennicks were tortured for over six hours and were so brutally thrashed by cops that blood was splattered on the walls of the police station.

“The fact that Benniks and Jeyaraj were subjected to brutal torture by the accused police officials on the evening of June 19, 2020 and the intervening night of 19-20 June in the police station Santhankulam, stands established,” said the CBI.

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Quoting forensic report into the deaths, the charge sheet says the two were subjected to “several rounds of brutal torture with intervals in between 7.45 pm and 3 am” and that police even made Bennicks wipe his bloodstains in the police station with his vest.

Jeyraj, 59 and Bennicks, 31, were arrested on June 19 for allegedly keeping their mobile phone shop open despite curfew timings imposed as part of the COVID-19 lockdown. They were later detained by police and allegedly tortured in custody.

Both succumbed to their injuries on June 22 while being treated at a government hospital.

The CBI report says that the FIR filed against the father and son was false as the two did not flout any lockdown rules. The agency said the report was filed to cover up the crime committed by the police.

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According to the charge-sheet, forensic teams found blood of the two splattered on the walls of the Santhankulam police station and arrived that the father-son duo were beaten with sticks.

It added that the police destroyed evidence such as the bloodstained clothes of the two which were disposed into a dustbin at a government hospital.

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