Sathankulam station inspector Sridhar suspended over custodial deaths

Thoothukudi Superintendent of police Arun Balagopalam confirmed that inspector Srithar has been suspended.
Sathankulam station inspector Sridhar suspended over custodial deaths
Sathankulam station inspector Sridhar suspended over custodial deaths

The Thoothukudi police suspended Sathankulam station inspector Sridhar on Sunday, in connection to the alleged custodial deaths of a 58-year-old man named Jayaraj and his 31-year-old son Bennix. This decision comes after the inspector was shifted to the waiting list on June 24.

Thoothukudi Superintendent of police Arun Balagopalan confirmed that inspector Sridhar has been suspended but did not divulge further details.

Two other sub-inspectors - Raghuganesh and Balakrishnan had already been suspended this week in connection to the deaths.

Jayaraj and his son Bennix, were taken into custody for allegedly not closing their mobile phone shop before the curfew imposed during the lockdown. 

Jayaraj was taken to the station first and Bennix followed his father to enquire about what had happened. According to eyewitnesses, Bennix saw his father being assaulted by inspector Sridhar when he arrived at the station. He reportedly asked them to stop the assault, which enraged the inspector who then allegedly asked other policemen to beat Bennix as well.

Following outrage over their deaths, Inspector General (IG-South Zone) KP Shanmuga Rajeswaran informed the court that two sub inspectors had been suspended for their alleged involvement in the case. Inspector Sridhar meanwhile had been removed from the station and been placed in the waiting list. This status changed on Sunday when he was suspended.

Meanwhile departmental proceedings were initiated against two head constables - Muthuraj and Murugan.

Records from the sub jail and notes by the doctor in the sub jail confirm that both Jayaraj and Bennix had suffered serious injuries to their gluteal region (buttocks). Their relatives who saw the bodies before the post mortem was conducted too confirmed that there were several marks which pointed to physical abuse on their bodies. The worst however, said the men in the family, was the damage done to their gluteal region.

The Tamil Nadu government on Sunday also announced that in the next court hearing it was planning to ask that this case be transferred to the Central bureau of investigation (CBI).

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