Sathankulam deaths: Jayaraj-Benicks were beaten up all night - woman head constable to magistrate
By Vivek Raj | Galatta | Jun 30, 2020, 06:15 pm
P. Jayaraj and his son, J. Benicks, were beaten up after their arrest on June 19 all through the night by police personnel using lathis at the Sathankulam police station, a woman head constable named Revathi said in her statement to the Kovilpatti Judicial Magistrate (JM). The JM, in his report submitted to the Madras High Court said, the woman constable had been nervous when her statement was being recorded at the police station on June 28, as her superior officers were also present. He added saying she was hesitant to sign the statement despite speaking about the incident. He said an assurance was given to her about her safety after which she came forward to sign the statement.
In her statement, woman constable Revathi cited that both the father and son, Jayaraj and Benicks, were assaulted throughout the night with lathis and was the reason why bloodstains were found to be seen on the table and lathis. The JM then ordered for the lathis to be handed over after she stated there might be a possibility the blood stains on the table and the lathis could be wiped off. Police personnel at first are said to have been non-cooperative in handing him over the lathis. However, they were later handed over to him. The JM, further in his report, added that the CCTV system has been programmed in a manner where the footage gets automatically erased every day. He said the footage from the CCTV was not available in the system since June 19.
The JM and his team had left the police station at around 5PM after arriving by 12:45 after which a few police officials began taking video of the proceedings inside the premises and a situation of panic too had been raised. The Madras High Court then initiated suo moto proceedings against the three police personnel based on the report that was submitted by the Judicial Magistrate.
The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Tuesday issued orders for protection to be given to woman head constable Revathi and her family members for becoming a witness to the custodial deaths of father and son, P. Jayaraj and J. Benicks. Tuticorin district collector Sandeep Nanduri issued a statement pointing out that revenue department officials, Tahsildar and the Deputy Tahsildar will be in charge of the administration on a rotational basis.