Within 24 hours since the Kovilpatti Magistrate told the Madurai bench of the Madras High Court, that Thoothukudi Assistant Superintendent of Police D Kumar and Deputy Superintendent of Police C Prathaban had threatened him during the inquiry in the Jeyaraj and Beniks case, they have been given new postings.
Before they were to appear at the court on Tuesday, 30 June, over the custodial deaths of Jeyaraj and his son Beniks, they were transferred and put under waiting list.
D Kumar will now take charge as ADSP, Prohibition Enforcement Wing in the Nilgiris, replacing officer G Gopi and C Prathaban has been posted to fill the vacancy of DSP, anti-land grabbing special cell at Pudukottai.
The court on Monday had initiated suo moto criminal contempt proceedings against the two police officers and a constable for taking videos of the magisterial proceedings at the police station and not giving records to the magistrate. Constable Maharajan, who had made a derogatory remark against the Magistrate, was suspended.
The court observed that the police officials had harassed the magistrate, thus obstructing the magisterial probe into the case.
The father and son were allegedly booked for keeping their shop open beyond permitted hours during the lockdown. The men were allegedly brutally beaten up in custody by the Sathankulam police officials that they died due to grievous injuries.
The incident has sparked massive outrage in the state over police brutality.
So far, over 17 police officers from the Sathankulam station have been transferred. Sub-inspectors Balakrishnan and Ragu Ganesh, who were accused of assaulting Jeyaraj and Beniks, were suspended.
Thoothukudi Superintendent of Police (SP) Arun Balagopalan was transferred and S Jeyakumar, who was SP of Villupuram district was appointed in his place.
N Ramanathan, who was DSP in Kallakurichi subdivision of Kallakurichi district, will now take charge as DSP in Sathakulam subdivision of Thoothukudi district.