HOW THE TRAGEDY UN­FOLDED

Hindustan Times (Jalandhar) - - HTSPOTLIGH­T -

JUNE 19: At 8pm, a friend of J Ben­nicks in­forms him that his fa­ther P Ja­yaraj has been picked up by the po­lice for keep­ing their mo­bile hand­set shop open beyond cur­few

Ac­cord­ing to eye­wit­ness ac­counts, Ben­nicks goes to Sathanku­lam po­lice sta­tion, gets called in for an in­quiry. Both are as­saulted for sev­eral hours; FIR filed against the duo lists sev­eral sec­tions, in­clud­ing use of force to de­ter a pub­lic ser­vant from duty

JUNE 20: Ben­nicks’ friends take him and Ja­yaraj to the hos­pi­tal to get their med­i­cal fit­ness test, even as both bleed pro­fusely, chang­ing their lungis sev­eral times

Sathanku­lam ju­di­cial mag­is­trate D Sar­a­vanan passes re­mand or­ders de­spite their clear lack of phys­i­cal fit­ness, and the fa­ther and son are taken to the Kovil­patti sub-jail

JUNE 22: Ben­nicks dies at the Kovil­patti Gov­ern­ment Hos­pi­tal af­ter com­plain­ing of chest pain

JUNE 23: Ja­yaraj dies in the same hos­pi­tal early in the morn­ing; Ben­nicks and Ja­yaraj’s friends and fam­ily are in­formed by the po­lice that they have died

Later in the day, peo­ple in Sathanku­lam stage a protest against po­lice bru­tal­ity

JUNE 24: Madras high court bench con­sist­ing of jus­tices PM Prakash and B Pu­gal­endhi takes suo-motu cog­nizance, or­ders Thoothukud­i su­per­in­ten­dent of po­lice Arun Balagopala­n to sub­mit a sta­tus re­port; sub-in­spec­tors Balakr­ish­nan and P Raghuganes­h are sus­pended, dis­ci­plinary ac­tion is ini­ti­ated against con­sta­bles S Mu­ru­gan and Muthu­raj In­spec­tor Srid­har is trans­ferred to a wait­ing list’

JUNE 26: Au­topsy is con­ducted on both bod­ies and videograph­ed as per court’s order

JUNE 27: Balagopala­n is un­able to sub­mit post mortem re­port in sealed en­ve­lope due to re­stric­tions in place be­cause of Covid-19; Court or­ders that post mortem re­port, CCTV footage from po­lice sta­tion and jail be pre­served and sub­mit­ted on June 30. The Kovil­patti ju­di­cial mag­is­trate probe be­gan ear­lier.

JUNE 28: Chief min­is­ter E Palaniswam­i says gov­ern­ment will seek court’s per­mis­sion to trans­fer the case to Cen­tral

Bureau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion

JUNE 29: Court tells state ad­vo­cate that its per­mis­sion is not needed to trans­fer case to CBI, asks Thoothukud­i col­lec­tor and Rev­enue of­fi­cials to take con­trol of Sathanku­lam po­lice sta­tion, as of­fi­cers not co­op­er­at­ing with ju­di­cial mag­is­trate’s in­quiry

PTI

TN min­is­ter Kadambur Raju, along with rul­ing AIADMK lead­ers, meets kin of the de­ceased, at Sathanku­lam, Tu­ti­corin, on Sun­day.

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