In a pre-dawn operation on Thursday, the Tamil Nadu Crime Branch (CB)-CID arrested Sridhar, suspended inspector and Station House Officer of the Sattankulam police station, wanted in the case relating to the custodial murder of trader P. Jayaraj and his son J. Benicks.
Sub-inspector Balakrishnan and constable Murugan, both suspended, were also arrested by special teams.
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On Wednesday night, another accused, sub-inspector Raghu Ganesh , had been arrested.
Jayaraj and his son Benicks died at the Kovilpatti Government Hospital after they were allegedly tortured in police custody on June 19 after being picked up on a trivial charge.
A CB-CID officer said a special team intercepted a car at the Gangaikondan checkpost on the Tirunelveli-Madurai National Highway, in which Mr. Sridhar was found fleeing towards Theni district, and arrested him. “Sridhar, who came to Tirunelveli with the help of a ruling party functionary, proceeded towards Theni in the early hours of Thursday,” a police source said.
When the team guarding the checkpost in the wake of COVID -19 pandemic stopped the vehicle for scanning the e-pass, Mr. Sridhar flashed his identity card and managed to cross the point. However, the CB-CID police team, which was following him, intercepted the vehicle minutes later and arrested him.
“Even though he claimed to the CB-CID team that he was close to an AIADMK Minister, he was detained and taken to Thoothukudi around 4 a.m.,” police sources said.
Chief judicial magistrate Hema remanded inspector Sridhar, sub-inspector Balakrishnan and head-constable Murugan in judicial custody till July 16.
Another CB-CID team nabbed Mr. Balakrishnan and Mr. Murugan. Though constable Muthuraj has also been cited as an accused in this case, he is yet to be arrested. He is expected to become an “approver”, according to police sources.
Mr. Raghu Ganesh, who was presented before the chief judicial magistrate past midnight, was remanded in judicial custody till July 16. He was then lodged in the Peroorani sub-jail, near Thoothukudi.
Though sources in the CB-CID initially informed the media on Wednesday that suspended constable Maharajan and head-constable Chelladurai had also been named as accused, their names did not figure in the First Information Report.