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Govt Tried to 'Hush Up' Excesses in Father-son Custodial Death Case, Says MDMK

File photos of P Jayaraj, 60, and J Bennix, 31.

File photos of P Jayaraj, 60, and J Bennix, 31.

Bennicks and his father Jeyaraj died on June 22 and 23 respectively in a government hospital in Tuticorin district after alleged torture at a police station following their arrest on June 19.

The MDMK on Monday alleged that the AIADMK government tried to hide excesses by police personnel that led to the deaths of a father-son duo at Sathankulam in southern Tamil Nadu.

The Vaiko-led party said the directives and guidance of the Madras High Court in this case have given confidence that the guilty would be punished.

The Madurai Bench of the court intervened at the right time and gave directions to uphold justice when the "Tamil Nadu government, which must own up responsibility for the deaths of Jeyaraj and Bennicks made efforts to conceal their brutal killings (a reference to alleged torture by some police personnel)," a resolution adopted at the distrct secretaries meeting of the MDMK said.

Rubbishing opposition accusations, both the state government and the AIADMK had all along assured stringent punishment in the case.

While Law Minister C Ve Shanmugam has said the government would ensure highest punishment to those responsible for the deaths, the AIADMK top leaders O

Panneerselvam and K Palaniswami vowed to do justice. The MDMK meet, held via a virtual link was presided by party presidium chairman TIrupur Su Duraisamy and general secretary Vaiko addressed the office-bearers.

Further, the party said such court directives brought confidence to the people.

"Now, there is confidence that the guilty will be punished in the case under the guidance of the Madras High Court," the party said and lauded the intervention of the judiciary.

The MDMK also appreciated the CB-CID for its quick pace of probe and arrest of five police personnel including inspector Sridhar and demanded tough punishment for the perpetrators of the alleged crime.

On COVID-19, the party asked the government to further increase testing and urged the Centre to not allow private sector participation in the Railways.

DMK leader M K Stalin had alleged that the brutal assault on the two men by police was "a result of the AIADMK government allowing them to take law into their own hands at a time when they have to ensure the safety of the public during the lockdown."

Both the AIADMK and main opposition DMK had announced a solatium of Rs 25 lakh each to the family of victims.

Bennicks and his father Jeyaraj died on June 22 and 23 respectively in a government hospital in Tuticorin district after alleged torture at Sathankulam police station following their arrest on June 19.

Following outrage, Chief Minister K Palaniswami had announced a CBI probe.

However, the High Court had tasked the CB-CID to handle the case till such time the central agency took over the matter.

first published:July 06, 2020, 15:12 IST