Father-son death in police custody sparks outrage in India

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Updated: Jun 27, 2020, 03:55 PM(IST)

Police brutality in India Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Hundreds of thousands of tweets were sent out using the hashtag #JusticeforJayarajandBennix, that was among the top Twitter topics trending in India on Friday and among the top 30 trending globally, with celebrities and politicians condemning police action.

Outrage at the death of a father-son duo in the custody of police in India's Tamil Nadu earlier this week mounted on Saturday. Thousands on social media compared the incident to the death of George Floyd in the United States.

J Jayaraj, 59, and Bennicks Immanuel, 31, were subjected to a brutal thrashing, which resulted in rectal bleeding and eventual death, according to a letter to government officials written by the former’s wife J Selvarani. The letter seeks action against the police officers involved.

Police in Sathankulam, a town located 50 km (31 miles) south of the port city of Thoothukudi in southern Tamil Nadu state, said in a first information report (FIR) that Jayaraj and Bennicks were picked up on Friday, June 19 for breaching coronavirus lockdown rules.

Bennicks died on Monday after complaining of breathlessness and Jayaraj died on Tuesday, Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami, who oversees the police in the state, said in a statement on Wednesday. 

Two policemen involved in the incident have been suspended.

Hundreds of thousands of tweets were sent out using the hashtag #JusticeforJayarajandBennix, that was among the top Twitter topics trending in India on Friday and among the top 30 trending globally, with celebrities and politicians condemning police action.

Nearly 15 cases of custodial violence and torture were reported in every day on average, with 9 people dying in judicial or police custody every 24 hours, according to the latest annual report by India’s National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) for the year 2017/18.

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