The Madras High Court observed there is enough prima facie evidence of assault in order to register a case of murder against cops who allegedly assaulted the father-son duo while in custody.
The court has asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to take up the probe immediately, News18 reported. The cops' treatment and alleged intimidation of the judicial magistrate, who was inquiring into the matter, has also come under the scanner.
Following the magistrate's report of the behaviour of police personnel at the Sathankulam police station while the inquiry was underway, the HC had on June 29 directed the district collector to send revenue officers and have them take control of the station.
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The inquiring magistrate had, in his written communication to the court, said that the cops had destroyed evidence in the case while also failing to cooperate in the investigation, forcing the judicial team to give up the inquiry midway.
An order transferring the probe into the deaths of Jayaraj and Fenix to the CBI was also passed by the state government on June 29.
Jayaraj and his son Fenix were reportedly arrested by the police on June 19 for allegedly violating lockdown curfew norms by keeping their shop open beyond a certain time. Relatives of the two men have alleged that they were severely thrashed at the Sathankulam police station by policemen.
Fenix, who was admitted to a local hospital on June 22 after he reportedly complained of breathing issues, died the same night. His father, who was also admitted to a hospital due to an illness, breathed his last the next day.
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The news of the alleged police brutality that led to the death of Jayaraj and Fenix sparked widespread outrage across the state, with many taking to the streets to demand action be taken against the cops involved.