DMK to give Rs 25 lakh as relief to Jayaraj-Bennix's family

The Tamil Nadu government on Wednesday announced a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the family.
DMK to give Rs 25 lakh as relief to Jayaraj-Bennix's family
DMK to give Rs 25 lakh as relief to Jayaraj-Bennix's family
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The death of Jayaraj and Bennix, the father-son duo from Sathankulam in Thoothukudi, allegedly due to police brutality while in custody, has created furore in Tamil Nadu. Earlier on Wednesday. Tamil Nadu government had announced a solatium of Rs 10 lakh to the family. Now, on Friday, both the AIADMK and the state’s main opposition party, DMK, have announced a relief of Rs 25 lakh each to the family of the deceased. 

This comes even as the bereaved family finally received Jayaraj and Bennix’s bodies to hold their final rites on Thursday, after having initially refused to accept the bodies in protest. Family members received their bodies only after the Madras High Court took suo motu cognisance of the case and directed officials to videograph the entire postmortem process.

Protests broke out in Thoothukudi soon after the news of their deaths broke and tension prevailed even as their bodies were lowered into the ground at Sathankulam cemetery. Scores had come to pay their last respects to the duo, whose bodies were kept outside their shops in Sathankulam. Thoothukudi MP Kanimozhi too visited the victims’ house later on Thursday. 

While the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court expects a police report to be filed on June 26, media reports have emerged indicating the police excess meted out to the two. According to this report in The Hindu, when Jayaraj and Bennix were taken to Sathankulam Government Hospital on June 20 for a medical examination, after having been arrested the previous night, the two had high blood pressure with baton marks and blood clots all over the body, indicating violence while in custody.

Jayaraj and Bennix, who ran a woodwork shop and a mobile shop in Sathankulam, were arrested by the police on June 19, allegedly for keeping their shops open beyond timing stipulated by the lockdown. Two days later, they were lodged at Kovilpatti Sub Jail, and it was here late in the night on June 22 that Bennix complained of chest pain and was taken to Kovilpatti Government Hospital where he died. Early the next morning, Jayaraj too complained of discomfort and passed away at the government hospital.

So far, a First Information Report has been filed against Sathankulam Inspector Srithar, Sub-Inspectors Ragu Ganesh and Balakrishnan. All three of them have also been suspended. All other police officers from the Sathankulam station have been transferred and a judicial probe is underway. 

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