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Widespread protests in TN over custodial death of father-son duo; #JusticeForJayarajAndFenix trends on Twitter

Vishnu Vasisht

More than 1,000 people in the city of Sathankulam in the Thoothukudi district of Tamil Nadu organized a dharna on Tuesday after two people were reportedly killed here in police custody.

The deceased have been identified as Jayaraj (59) and his son Fenix (31). Two sub-inspectors have been suspended.

According to protesters and other locals, Jayaraj and Fenix ​​had a mobile store in the city. Last Friday, they closed the shop around 8:15 PM. Sathankulam police station personnel, who were on patrol, allegedly arrested him for running the store outside the allotted time, and there was a fight.

Police staff visited the store again on Saturday evening and had a conversation with Jayaraj. When Fenix intervened, both father and son were taken to the police station and booked under various sections of the IPC, including Section 188 (disobedience to an order duly proclaimed by the officer) and 353 (use of force to attack officers).

On Sunday, after a medical check-up, the duo were placed in the Kovilpatti sub-prison. That night, locals claimed Fenix complained of chest pain and Jayaraj had a high fever. Both were taken to the government hospital of Kovilpatti, where Fenix ​​died Monday night and Jayaraj succumbed to respiratory disease on Tuesday morning.

Jayaraj's wife, Selvarani, has filed a complaint alleging police brutality leading to the death of her husband and son. In her letter of complaint, she said that the police had brutally attacked her husband and son, used curse words, and threatened to kill them.

All the union bodies, different political outfits, activists and the local public condemned the murder in different parts of the city.

Thoothukudi District collector Sandeep Nanduri, told reporters that two sub-inspectors have been suspended in connection with the incident. "We have ordered a probe. The autopsy of the two bodies will take place in the Tirunelveli Medical College and Hospital. All police officers from the Sathankulam police station are being transferred," he said.

Thoothukudi MP Kanimozhi has written to the Director General of Police, JK Tripathy, to take action against the police officers involved. She said that the officers should not be transferred, but suspended.

DMK leader MK Stalin also took to Twitter saying Chief Minister Edappadi K Palanisami should respond to the brutal killings.

On social media, A video shared by singer Suchitra has gone viral. In the video, she claims that the father-son duo were brutally tortured for days before announcing their deaths.

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On Twitter, #JusticeForJayarajAndFenix trends, as the incident has led to uproar throughout the nation.

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