The observations that the family has made is further supported by a portion of the record maintained by the doctor in the Kovilpatti sub-jail that had now been leaked.

Jayaraj and his son Bennix
news Sathankulam custodial deaths Sunday, June 28, 2020 - 16:11

On June 24, two days after the deaths of 58-year-old Jayaraj and 31-year-old Bennix, members of their family caught the first glimpse of the deceased’s wounds. The family had insisted that three people be allowed into the morgue to see the bodies of the two men, before the post-mortem was conducted.

“I can’t even describe in words what I witnessed in that morgue,” says T Thaveed, Jayaraj’s brother-in-law, who was amongst the men in the family who went in to see the bodies at the Kovilpatti General Hospital. He was accompanied by his brother’s two sons-in-law, Vinoth and Omsekar.

“These two relatively healthy men were reduced to a bloody mess,” Thaveed tells TNM. “They had sustained injuries under their feet and there were bruises there. And as you went up the body, it only got worse. Their hands, both right and left, had marks on them. But the worst was their buttocks region. There was no skin left, they had been thrashed to an extent where it was just bloody and raw,” he adds, his voice shaking.

Thaveed says both father and son had similar injuries, and they looked fatal to the common man.

“Bennix was such an active man, he would play sports and work out vigorously, he even had gym equipment at his residence,” says Vinoth, who was also present there. “To finally see him in such a state, with injuries near the anus, we couldn’t even take it. It is the most brutal sight I have seen,” he adds.

All three men gave their statements to the magistrate after seeing the bodies and these were recorded.

The observations that the family has made is further supported by a portion of the record maintained by the doctor in the Kovilpatti sub-jail that had now been leaked.

In this record from June 20 that TNM had accessed, the doctor has noted that there were multiple marks on the gluteal region (buttocks). The record also states that Bennix had a sulcus or depression on his right knee. He was told to come for an X-ray and a blood sugar test the next day.

The Kovilpatti sub-jail register too has reiterated that there were injuries and bleeding from the buttocks. The document also notes that Bennix had swollen legs and hands when he entered the prison. Both these documents along with eyewitness accounts add evidence to the family’s allegations of custodial violence and assault.

The family’s counsel meanwhile told TNM that the post-mortem report is likely to be submitted to the court on Tuesday.

 

 

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