Tamil Nadu

Sattankulam custodial deaths: Kanimozhi seeks National Human Rights Commission inquiry

DMK MP Kanimozhi.

DMK MP Kanimozhi.  

The DMK MP, in her letter, said that from a mere perusal of the facts and circumstances, it can be seen that the police disregarded basic human rights, including the right to life and dignity

DMK MP from Thoothukudi, Kanimozhi has written to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) seeking an inquiry against police personnel and others responsible in the matter relating to the alleged custodial deaths of a father and son, Jayaraj and Benicks, belonging to Sattankulam.

“It is alleged that while the police were assaulting Mr. Jayaraj and Mr. Benicks in the guise of investigation, the police officials had inserted a baton into the anus of Mr. Bennicks that had triggered uncontrolled bleeding and further the police officials had beaten Mr. Jayaraj and had kicked him on his chest multiple times with their shoes,” she said in her letter.

Ms. Kanimozhi said that it was alleged that when the police took them to obtain fitness certificates, the doctor had refused to provide them, but the inspector of the Sattankulam police station had coerced the doctor into providing the fitness certificates, disregarding their health conditions.


Even when the two were taken to the Judicial Magistrate’s house for producing them before the magistrate, “it is alleged that they were placed at least 50 metres away from the Magistrate and were surrounded by policemen when they were taken into judicial custody,” Ms. Kanimozhi said.

“As such there is overwhelming direct and corroborative evidence that the police officials, the Magistrate who ordered remand, the medical officials who should have checked the health and physical fitness of Mr. Jayaraj and Mr. Benicks have collectively failed in discharging their duties,” the MP said.

She added that from mere perusal of the facts and circumstances, it can be seen that the police disregarded basic human rights, including the right to life and dignity as enshrined in Article 21 of the Constitution. She said the police also violated the guidelines for arrest as laid down by the Supreme Court of India, and is also a violation of the Police Standing Order issued by the State of Tamil Nadu.

Ms. Kanimozhi alleged that there have been 15 incidents of custodial deaths in the State but not a single chargesheet has been filed against officials who were responsible for it.

“Therefore, the NHRC may also take this into consideration and issue necessary directions in this regard so that no further lives are lost under police custody and stringent action is taken against all such officials who have abetted in gross human rights violations,” she said.

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Printable version | Jul 9, 2020 7:34:22 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/kanimozhi-seeks-national-human-rights-commission-inquiry-into-sattankulam-custodial-deaths/article31922292.ece

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