Three months after the death of father-son duo Jayaraj and Bennix in Thoothukudi district, forensic reports submitted by the CBI to the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court establish that the brutal torture by the Sathankulam police on June 19 led to the death of the two victims. The investigating agency has further produced reports from the Central Forensic Science Laboratory in New Delhi to prove that the victims were thrashed in a manner that left bloodstains on the floors, walls and the lathis of policemen at the Sathankulam station.
A portion of the chargesheet submitted by the CBI has been accessed by TNM and it gives insight into the inhuman nature of the assault suffered by the father and son. According to a section titled 'Results of Laboratory Analysis', DNA samples were collected from the walls of the lockup, toilet, room of SHO in the police station and from the lathis of the accused policemen during the judicial enquiry conducted by the Kovilpatti magistrate. The DNA from these samples were found to match that of the victims. The chargesheet argues that this evidence establishes the fact that Jayaraj and Bennix “were subjected to brutal torture by the accused police officials who deliberately inflicted severe bleeding injuries to both of them, knowing well that the injuries caused by them on the person of the deceased Bennix and Jayaraj were sufficient in the ordinary course of nature to cause their death."
Going into details of the 'charge' against the accused police officials, the CBI has detailed the brutality of the crime against the victims. The document states that Jayaraj was first picked up by Sub-Inspector Balakrishnan, Inspector S Sridhar, Police Constable M Muthuraja and other officials from Kamarajar Chowk at close to 7.30 pm. Bennix, upon hearing about this, is said to have rushed to the station and questioned the illegal confinement.
"After reaching the police station Sathankulam, deceased Bennix saw his father being beaten by the accused SI K Balakrishnan. Bennix objected to that and question the SI about the reason for bringing his father to the police station and subjecting him to torture," states the chargesheet.
The SI, however, allegedly took offence to this and a scuffle ensued between them. Constable Muthuraja and the SI then allegedly tried to manhandle Bennix, who in turn pushed away the constable to defend himself, says the document.
"Soon after this, in a fit of rage, deceased Bennix was also wrongfully confined inside the police station and accused SI K Balakrishnan along with other accused persons together started beating Bennix severely. In the melee, accused S Sridhar intervened and instigated the accused persons in furtherance of their criminal conspiracy to give Bennix a good beating in order to teach him a lesson on how to behave with the police," says the chargesheet.
This torture allegedly continued for hours together and when there was a lull, the document states that Sridhar used to prod the staff by asking why it was so silent, and thereby instigating them further to start fresh rounds of beatings.
"Not only this, their clothes were removed to add to the brutality of the torture. Both Jayaraj and Bennix, turn by turn, were made to bow down on a wooden table in underwear only, their hands and legs were caught hold by accused police officials, so that they were not able to defend themselves," says the report. "While holding them in that position they were subjected to severe beatings with a lathi on their buttocks, back and other parts of the body," it adds.
Jayaraj, as per the document, begged that they stop, given his high blood pressure and diabetic condition. He told the police that he would not be able to handle grievous injuries but they allegedly paid no heed.
Later, the victims were allegedly made to wipe their blood off the floors with their own clothes and a domestic worker who came to the station the next morning was also instructed to wash the floors.
The inquest report submitted by the Judicial Magistrate further established that there were 18 injuries found on the body of the deceased. This included serious injuries, big in size with peeled skin.
"Further, a final post mortem report furnished by the team of three doctors established that the deceased Bennix died of complications of blunt injuries sustained," states the report. "Thus, the inquest reports and final post mortem report of the deceased, Bennix, established the allegations that in furtherance of a criminal conspiracy and with common intention, the accused police officials had brutally tortured the deceased Bennix in the premises of the Sathankulam police station..and had inflicted severe injuries on him knowing well that he would die of the of the complications of such blunt injuries sustained."