Tamil Nadu Protests Over Deaths of Jayaraj & Fennix
India Today
Jun 29, 2020

After the brutal torture and death of a father and son by the police custody, there have been protest by people in Tamil Nadu and all over social media.

Correction : Fenix Emmanuel’s lawyer’s name is S Manimaran.

After the brutal torture and death of a father and son by the police custody, there have been protest by people in Tamil Nadu and all over social media. Let me tell you what happened. Jayaraj (59) and his son Fenix Emmanuel (31) ran a mobile shop in Sathankulam, Thoothukudi, Tamil Nadu. On June 19, around 8:15 pm Jayaraj was pulled up by the Sathankulam police officials who were on patrol. They scolded him for exceeding the curfew by 15 minutes. On 20th June, Jayaraj was arrested by the police. Soon after his son, Fenix was arrested too when he went to inquire about his father’s arrest.

While in police custody, they both were allegedly tortured. 

Fenix’s lawyer Advocate S Manimaran, an eyewitness to the brutality said, “We were standing out and we were seeing the whole incident from outside through a glass gate. Fenix 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 to take them to Court. Fenix 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 Fenix 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.”Other eyewitnesses have also claimed that Jayaraj and Fenix were allegedly sodomised while in prison. 

The Sathankulam police then approached judge B Saravanan to keep Jayaraj and Fenix. As per law, the judge needs to see if the persons are injured or fit. Only then the judge can allow police to keep them in custody. But The judge without seeing Jayaraj & Fennix gave police permission to keep them in custody. On 22nd June Fennix complained of breathing problems and was admitted to a local government hospital. He died at around 9 pm. Jayaraj was also hospitalized due to an illness he died the next day. Ever since the news of the deaths first broke, protests have broken out in several parts of Tamil Nadu. Across the state several trader union bodies, political outfits, activists, have staged protests against the death of the duo. In Thoothukudi, traders downed shutters, protests were held throughout the week. Celebrities, too, have taken to social media demanding that action be taken against those involved in the death of the duo. Jayaraj’s wife Selvarani has lodged a complaint and has blamed police brutality as the cause of death of her husband and son. The family have been demanding that murder charges be filed against the police involved Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami said that four police officers have been suspended after the incident. He also announced a cash relief of Rs 10 lakh to the family of Jayaraj. A judicial magistrate has initiated an inquiry.