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.
தூத்துக்குடி மாவட்டம் சாத்தான்குளத்தை சேர்ந்த தந்தை மகனான ஜெயராஜ் மற்றும் பென்னிக்ஸ் ஆகிய இருவரையும் காவல்துறையினர் விசாரணைக்கு அழைத்து சென்ற நிலையில் உயிரிழந்திருக்கின்றனர். காவல்துறையினர் தாக்கியதில் இந்த உயிரிழப்பு நடந்திருக்கும் என பலத்த சந்தேகம் எழுகிறது. 1/2— Kanimozhi (கனிமொழி) (@KanimozhiDMK) June 23, 2020
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”
போலீஸ் மிருகத்தனம் ஒரு கொடூரமான குற்றம். நம் பாதுகாவலர்களே அடக்குமுறையாளர்களாக மாறுவது ஒரு பெரும் சோகம். பாதிக்கப்பட்டவர்களின் குடும்பத்திற்கு எனது இரங்கலை தெரிவித்து கொள்வதோடு, ஜெயராஜ் & ஃபெனிக்ஸ் மரணத்திற்கு நீதி கிடைக்க அரசாங்கத்திடன் கோருகிறேன். #JusticeForJeyarajAndFenix https://t.co/joPTHwhuhL— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhiTN) June 26, 2020
Actors including Aishwarya Rajesh, Malavika Mohanan, Jayam Ravi and Jiiva, among others condemned the custodial deaths.
God is watching.— Nivetha Thomas (@i_nivethathomas) June 26, 2020
Nobody. Not another soul must have to undergo what Jeyaraj and Fenix did.
Say their names! Keep raising your voice until the perpetrators are punished as per law for their inhumane actions! They can’t be justified.
We live in truly barbaric, sickening times. Human beings are the worst species on this planet, and the cops who did this are worse. I hope they are given the maximum penalty by our Justice system. But do we have one that works? I guess we'll see.#JusticeForJeyarajAndFenix— VISHAL DADLANI (@VishalDadlani) June 26, 2020