New Delhi: Actor-politician Kamal Haasan on Sunday hit out at the Tamil Nadu government over the recent deaths in police custody of a father-son duo in Tuticorin, labelling Chief Minister Edapaddi K Palaniswami and his government as ‘prime accused’, and calling for strict punishment for all those involved in the alleged crime as well as its ‘cover up’. Also Read - #JusticeforJayarajAndFenix: Brutal Custodial Death of Father-Son Duo in Tamil Nadu's Tuticorin Jolts India
Speaking to media today, the Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) chief said, “A government and a Chief Minister who blindly support police murders, too, are prime accused. Those who committed this crime, its abettors and the mute spectators, as well as those who tried to cover it up, should be punished.”
The 65-year-old further remarked that the Tamil Nadu was, in fact, ‘promoting terrorism’ by supporting police excesses.
Notably, in an incident that many have equated with the murder of 46-year-old African American George Floyd by the police in the US city of Minneapolis last month, 59-year-old P Jayaraj and his 31-year-old son Bennicks died on June 23, four days after they arrested on June 19 for keeping their mobile phone shop open beyond permitted hours amid the coronavirus lockdown.
However, in days to come, it has been alleged that while in custody, the two were subjected to torture, and, possibly, even sexual assault at the Sathankulam police station where they were put in jail after being arrested. Reports have also claimed that there were injuries to their private parts and other alleged signs of torture.
The incident has triggered widespread outrage and protests across the city, as well as in the state.
In May 2018, 13 people were killed and over 100 injured in the city after police opened fire at agitators who were protesting against proposed expansion of a copper smelter plant run by Sterlite Corporation.