Jail, Hospital Records Confirm Beniks, Jeyaraj Had Many Injuries
Jail and hospital records confirmed Beniks and Jeyaraj had multiple injuries on their gluteal region.
As Tamil Nadu continues to demand justice for the deaths of Jeyaraj and Beniks, the father and son who were tortured by the Thoothukudi police, more evidence has emerged, confirming what their friends and family have been alleging all along – that Jeyaraj and Beniks were assaulted and were injured while they were remanded to judicial custody.
A portion of the record maintained by the government hospital in Sathankulam, which has been leaked, clearly notes that Jeyaraj and Beniks had injuries on 20 June, the day after they were brought from police custody.
The hospital record, accessed by TNM, stated that Jeyaraj, 58, was diabetic and had hypertension.
It stated that he had multiple marks on his gluteal region (buttocks), while Beniks, 31, also had multiple marks on his gluteal region. It said that Beniks was on medication for hypertension and had a sulcus or depression on his right knee and he was asked to come for an X-ray of the right knee and a blood sugar check up the next day.
In Jeyaraj's case, the doctor at the hospital noted that he had to take medicine for blood sugar and hypertension and needed to come back for a review.
Jeyaraj and Beniks were brought to the hospital on the morning of Saturday, 20 June, before they were taken to D Saravanan, the Judicial Magistrate of Sathankulam, for the remand process.
The injuries on the gluteal region and other injuries are also recorded in the admission records maintained by the Kovilpatti sub-jail.
Times Now showed the jail register which reiterated the injuries and bleeding from their buttocks. The jail admission document mentioned that Beniks had swollen legs and wrists at the time of entering the prison. This entry document has been signed by Jeyaraj, Beniks and two policemen from the Sathankulam police station, Chelladurai and Muthuraj.
These records confirm what several eyewitnesses have been saying since 23 June — that the two men were tortured in Sathankulam police station by the policemen. According to a report, eight policemen, including inspector Sridhar, sub-inspectors Balakrishnan and Ragu Ganesh and five ‘volunteers of police’ personnel, assaulted the two men in the station on the night of 19 June.
Jeyaraj and Beniks' family and friends had also confirmed to TNM earlier that the duo had to change their shirt and lungi multiple times on 20 June, before they went inside the hospital and at the judicial magistrate’s office since their clothes were soaked in blood.
The leaked portion of the hospital record, surprisingly, makes no mention of the bleeding.
Relatives have alleged that this medical inspection, as mandated by the law, was a complete sham and that the duo was surrounded by police at the hospital. At the magistrate's office too, there were many police personnel present and they ensured that Jeyaraj and Beniks did not speak of their injuries to the magistrate. Several jurists have slammed the magistrate for not asking for a physical inspection.
One relative told TNM that before reaching the magistrate, the police also asked the family to bring dark-coloured lungis.
Beniks and Jeyaraj were arrested by the Sathankulam police on 19 June for allegedly keeping their shop open beyond the lockdown timings specified by the Thoothukudi district administration. They were tortured in the police station by the police and then remanded in Kovilpatti sub-jail on 20 June.
Beniks complained of chest pain on 22 June night and died shortly after, while Jeyaraj died the following morning at the Kovilpatti government hospital. The incident has sparked massive outrage across the society as people and politicians condemned the increasing incidents of police brutality in the state and demanded justice for the victims’ family.
(The article was originally published in The News Minute and has been reposted with permission.)
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