Investigative Writer: Unnathi Vithlani
The police custodial violence and death is less in recent Indian history but this is different. Jayaraj and Fenix were father and son, they were running their mobile shop business at Sathankulam – Thoothukudi District, Tamilnadu (India). On June 19, 2020, Jayaraj had kept the shop open until 8.15 pm, simply 15 minutes over the lockdown time of 8 pm. The CCTV visuals reveals that 2 policemen on a 2-wheeler spoke to his father and asked him to come at the Sathankulam police station which located nearby area. When Fenix visited the station along on his friend’s 2-wheeler, then after Fenix noticed that his father was beaten up by the police inspector. He saw Jayaraj was stripped naked and beaten by the Sub Inspectors Balakrishnan and RaghuGanesh. When Fenix resisted Balakrishnan from beating his father savagely, the Sub-Inspector lost his balance and fell down. Following this, the Senior Inspectors, underneath the spur of Inspector Sridhar, began to thrash Fenix additionally remorselessly on the charge of attempt to assault a police. The advocates and few friends of the deceased reached the station, they were all pushed out and also the policemen locked the deceased in a room. Then father and son were both beaten heartlessly until early morning and their cries heard by all in the neighborhood. Their torment was seen by Jayaraj-Fenix’s friends when they peered through the window. The duo was then taken to Kovilpatti sub-jail that is 108 kilometers away (doesn’t gain any logic when the Tiruchendur jail is nearer at simply 30 kilometers away) where the Medical Superintendent gave a certificate that the 2 were fit for arrest whereas they were in a very pretty ill health condition and where in the course of three days and in an orgy of brutality, the father-son were stripped naked, had suffered sexual torture as lathis inserted into their rectum, Fenix even sodomised and his chest hairs plucked and their privates overwhelmed to pulp. The cops finally allowed the advocate and others acquaintances, who were dismayed to visualize the extent of torment inflicted on the duo. The 2 couldn't even stand and blood was oozing out of their rear. They changed Lungis (Loincloth) 8 or 10 times as every lungi became quickly stained with blood. They required immediate medical help; their BP was additionally rising alarmingly. The police failed to even give any vehicle. Finally, the deceased friends organized a car and also the father and son sat within the backseat on a cushion provided for them so their pain was somewhat reduced. However, the cushion became crammed with blood in a very matter of minutes. Fenix died on 23rd June 2020 and Jayaraj early on 24th June 2020 in the hospital. There were 18 injuries found on the body of the deceased during Inquest Proceedings. The injuries so recorded in the Inquest Report include some serious injuries, big in size with peeled skin. Further, Final Post Mortem Report furnished by the team of 3 doctors established that the deceased Fenix died of complications of blunt injuries sustained. “They kill, they decide, and that they justify – the police become the investigator, the prosecutor, and also the Judge! A female constable who was present at the station, Ms. Revathi, has given her witness account of that night to a state supreme court judge in writing, then to an inspector general of Crime Branch Crime Investigation Department (CB-CID). Based on her statement, 10 policemen are arrested. The Investigation for this case was later handed over to CBI (Crime Bureau of Investigation) According to the CBI Charge sheet; On September 26, the CBI had filed its charge sheet against 9 police personnel, including Inspector S Sridhar, K Balakrishnan, P RaghuGanesh, S Murugan, A Samadurai, M Muthuraja, S Chelladurai, X Thomas Francis, S Veilmuthu. Special Sub-Inspector of Police – Pauldurai was the 10th accused who was declared dead due to COVID -19. Nine former police personnel, accused of the death, got charged underneath many sections of the Indian penal code and are in the jail. The CBI, during this investigation, concluded the following; ▪ The father-son duo were the victims of a ‘criminal conspiracy’ hatched by the policemen. ▪ Jayaraj and Fenix were innocent of all charges. ▪ They were tortured repeatedly by the 9 accused who were present at the station, and that they were overwhelmed turn by turn at the instigation of the prime accused, Inspector S Sridhar. ▪ Another charge that the CBI cuffed stated: “Fenix, after the beating, was asked to clean the blood stains on the floors and on the walls; this also led to the destruction of proof.” ▪ CBI blame Dr. N. Vinila, the medical practitioner at the government hospital, to declare the duo ‘fit for remand’, despite being clear that they were in no means ‘fit’ after the assault. ▪ The CBI additionally affirmed the discrepancies within the sequence of events mentioned by the police FIR. The CBI chargesheet once more debunked the ‘huge crowd’ theory of the police and confirmed that no abuses were hurled. The Madurai additional district court has currently dismissed the bail plea of suspended Police officers. Court points out that if the accused are release on bail, there is a high possibility of intimidating and tampering with the witnesses. Jeyaraj’s wife Selvarani also filed an intervening petition objecting to the grant of bail to the accused’s police officials. The case is still pending before the court. This case is the classic example how law enforcement agencies misuse the power instead of serve and protect the citizen of the state. Also, it proves that the India's premier federal investigation agency Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) the way proved the case scientifically in spite of the all efforts of the accused police officials before the honorable court beyond reasonable doubt.