Justice for Jayaraj and Bennix: Massive online campaign against TN custodial deaths

The father and son died in police custody in Thoothukudi, Tamil Nadu raising several questions about police brutality.
Jayaraj Fenix Bennix
Jayaraj Fenix Bennix
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The custodial deaths of a father and son from Tamil Nadu’s Thoothukudi district has sparked massive outrage on social media against police brutality. Small time traders Jayaraj and Bennix were allegedly severely assaulted by the Sathankulam police, following which they succumbed to their injuries at the Kovilpatti General Hospital. The police have denied that the men had been thrashed, attributing their deaths to ‘fever’ and 'rolling on the ground'.

Family and friends have alleged police brutality, stating that Bennix, the 31-year-old son of Jayaraj (58) was assaulted along with his father when he questioned why the police had arrested his father. Witnesses have stated that the men were brutalised with lathis. The horrific custodial killings has prompted outrage against the Tamil Nadu government

#JusticeForJeyarajAndFenix trended on social media, amid growing calls for accountability from the state police.

While DMK MP Kanimozhi was one of the first to highlight the issue, after initial reports surfaced, Radio jockey (RJ) Suchi posted a video on the issue, seeking national attention for the calls for justice. The video, which has gone viral on social media, listed the alleged atrocities the police indulged in, and has evoked strong reactions from across the country.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi tweeted his condolences to the family, stating, “Police brutality is a terrible crime. It’s a tragedy when our protectors turn into oppressors. I offer my condolences to the family of the victims and appeal to the government to ensure #JusticeForJeyarajAndFenix”

Actors including Aishwarya Rajesh, Malavika Mohanan, Jayam Ravi and Jiiva, among others condemned the custodial deaths.


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