While India stood up and opposed custodial killings in America, a gruesome incident took place in Tuticorin on June 19, when 59-year-old P Jayaraj and his 31-year-old son Bennicks (Fenix) were allegedly raped in custody and beaten to death by Tamil Nadu police. A video was then shared by RJ Suchitra, narrating the graphics of their brutal murder and the country demanded immediate justice as it went viral. Also Read - Tuticorin Custodial Deaths Case: Another Cop Arrested, 5 Police Taken in Custody so Far
Taking to her Instagram handle, the radio jockey stood against police brutality and shared the video with the alert message, “Trigger Warning: Extreme Police Brutality”. She began the video by saying, “This video is in English, and it is to explain in graphic details what happened to Jayaraj and his son during this past one week in a town in my state, called Tuticorin.” Also Read - Tuticorin Deaths: Shocked Rajinikanth Demands Justice for The Father-son Duo, Says Police Officers Involved Should Not be Spared
Collecting reports of eyewitnesses, Suchitra narrated vividly, how the father and son duo were brutally thrashed while in custody, allegedly stripped naked, their knees were smashed and their chest hair was ripped out. The cops were accused of inserting metal objects into the victims’ rectum leaving them bleeding till their lungis had to be changed seven times in about 5 hours. The duo died at a hospital in Kovilpatti on June 23. Also Read - Tuticorin Custodial Deaths: Tamil Nadu Government Transfers Case to CBI
Advocate S Manimaran, who is Bennicks’ lawyer and an eyewitness to the brutal incident, supported RJ Suchi’s video with the revelation, “We were seeing the whole incident from outside through a glass gate. Bennicks and his father were beaten. In the morning there was blood all over the place where they were sitting. I gave them four clothes to change. We had laid down a blanket in the seat of the car when we went to pick them up, Bennicks had lost a lot of flesh on his back. He was a well-built man. The car driver was in tears seeing their state. The spot where Bennicks sat was covered with blood, the place where Jayaraj was sitting was also all blood. The blankets are still with us. They were beaten to death.”
With a special team from CBI taking over the investigations, five new arrests have been made while the accused police officials have been charged with the murder of Jayaraj and Bennicks (Fenix). This has been possible courtesy Suchitra’s viral video which gave the case a limelight among even non-Tamil speaking people of the country who, along with celebrities, raised their voices against the atrocities committed in their own backyard.
However, Tamil Nadu CB-CID, on Thursday, directed the playback singer and radio jockey to take down her video on the Sathankulam custodial deaths of Jayaraj and Bennix as it promotes hatred against the police. A statement released by the police read, “Ms Suchitra’s descriptive narration of the incident is baseless and is not truly indicative of the real happenings. In this video she falsely exaggerated and sensationalised the chain of events and her allegations seems to be a figment of imagination and is not backed up by any proof.”
Suchitra’s video has been widely shared by celebrities and politicians from across the country apart from netizens on various social media platforms. She has however, taken down the video from all her social media handles.