A Year After Jeyaraj-Beniks, Police Brutality Claims 1 More Life 

The two friends recorded the police brutality on the phone which went viral on social media garnering attention.

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Jaishankar and Sivanbabu still can’t believe that their friend was beaten to death for merely violating the lockdown rules.

The news comes a year after the country witnessed the horrific custodial murders of Jeyaraj and Beniks in Tamil Nadu’s Thoothukudi.


'We Pleaded to Let Him Go'

On 22 June, 47-year-old Murugesan and his two friends from Tamil Nadu’s Salem went to the nearby village, Karumandurai to buy alcohol. Upon their return, their two-wheeler was stopped by the police at the Pappinaickenpatti check post.

When the police found that the men were intoxicated, they questioned them and soon an argument broke out.

“We pleaded to the police officer to let him go. But he hit him very hard that he fell down. When he tried getting up, he hit him harder on his head and then he couldn’t move. The cop then told us to move him to the corner of the road. We objected to it and we stood there protesting for over two hours.”
Sivanbabu, Murugesan’s Friend

Salem District Superintendent of Police (SP) M Sree Abhinav, who is the lead investigating officer in the case told The Quint, “The police had asked the victim to leave his vehicle and go by walk because he was in an inebriated condition. An argument began when the victim objected. The police officer then lost his cool and this unfortunate incident took place.”


Death, a Punishment for Lockdown Violation?

The two friends recorded the incident on the phone which went viral on social media, garnering national attention.

In the video, Murugesan is heard pleading to the police to stop hitting him.

“Yes, it was his mistake to talk to you in such a manner. But you are wrong to hit him so brutally,” one of the friends is heard saying in the video.

“Is this how the police should treat someone who has violated the lockdown rules?”
Jaishankar, Murugesan’s Friend

After a few hours, when Murugasen lay unconscious, the police called an ambulance and he was taken to the Primary Healthcare Centre at Thumbal and later admitted to the Government Hospital at Attur. The doctors then referred him to the Salem Government Mohan Kumaramangalam Medical College and Hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries on the morning of 23 June.

The fruit stall owner from Salem’s Edayappati had a shop set up in Vazhapadi. He is survived by his wife and three children.


Protests Erupt Demanding Justice

Family and friends of Murugesan protested at the district's Yethapur police station on Thursday, demanding the arrest of the police officers involved. While police officers Balaji and Dhivakaran were at the scene, it was Special Sub-Inspector Periyasami who had assaulted Murugasen. He has been suspended.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin ordered a compensation of Rs 10 lakhs to Murugesan's family.

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Topics:  Tamil Nadu   Police Brutality   Salem 

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