The father-son duo that died in judicial custody in Tamil Nadu’s Tuticorin district had suffered sexual torture (inflicted using lathis) at Sathankulam police station, according to eye-witnesses.
On June 19, Jayaraj (59) and his son Emmanuel Benicks (31) were arrested following an altercation with Sathankulam police.
Benicks was assaulted by policemen at the station on questioning the brutality against his father. “The policemen
held him by his collar and pushed him towards the wall. At least five policemen including the sub-inspector and
constables beat him black and blue in front of us” said Ravi a friend of theirs.
Around 11 pm, Ravi and Rajkumar managed to sneak inside the station only to be stopped by the ‘Friends of Police (volunteers at the station), who said investigation was going on. “We managed to see Benicks, who was naked and covered in blood Ravi alleged. “They complained of severe pain in their rectums. We immediately gave them a lungi and spread a thick cotton cloth on the car seat, so that it would not hurt them” he added.
His friends were asked to take the men to a hospital for a fitness certificate. However, doctors refused to provide one
owing to Jayaraj’s high blood pressure. They were administered injections and tablets, however the friends pleas to stem the victims’ bleeding went unheard.
“Between 7 am and 12 pm on June 20, the father and son had changed at least seven lungies each as they had become wet due to blood oozing from their rectums” said Rajkumar.
Benicks’s friends allege pressure to recieve a fitness certificate, upon which the police took the duo in the same car to Judicial Magistrate P Saravanan’s house. “We told Benicks to tell the judicial magistrate whatever had happened to him in the police custody. But he was afraid and told us that the police had threatened him of ruining his life if he revealed anything to the magistrate” Rajkumar said.
Benicks died at Kovilpatti Government Hospital on June 22 after complaining of chest pain, while Jayaraj died the next morning after suffering from fever.
After the severe allegations two sub inspectors suspended.