Tamil Nadu Custodial Deaths: Four police officers arrested by CB-CID, FIR altered to include murder charge

New Delhi: Tamil Nadu CB-CID have arrested four police officers, including an inspector and a sub-inspector, after it booked six people on murder charges in connection with the death of a father-son duo, allegedly thrashed at a police station in this southern district in Tamil Nadu.

Inspector Sridhar, sub Inspectors Raghu Ganesh and Balakrishnan and constable Murugan have been arrested by the Crime Branch of Tamil Nadu’s CID (Criminal Investigation Department) under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The FIRs filed in the case were altered to include murder charges against six, including two sub-inspectors — Raghu Ganesh and Balakrishnan — who have been accused of the death of the father-son duo due to the alleged torture in police custody.

Raghu Ganesh was arrested on Wednesday by the CB-CID officials, who took over the probe into the case which has triggered a nation-wide outrage.

The Madras High Court had on Tuesday transferred the probe to to the CB-CID, expressing fear that evidence could disappear by the time CBI took over the probe.

The Judges appointed Anil Kumar, DSP, CB-CID as the investigating officer, considering his track record, and
directed that he start the probe immediately saying, “in a case of physical violence, alacrity in investigation is the need of the hour.”

Twelve special teams formed under the Inspector General and Superintendent of Police of CB-CID are investigating all angles in the case. Search and arrest parties have fanned out to arrest the remaining accused.

The court felt there was prima facie enough evidence to alter the case to one of murder.

The death of the duo on June 23, which saw an outpouring of anger with people from various walks of life condemning the “police brutality”, also drew the attention of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) as it issued notices to the state police chief and Tuticorin Superintendent of Police, seeking a detailed report.

Jeyaraj and Bennicks, arrested for “violating” lockdown norms over the business hours of their cell phone shop, died at a hospital in Kovilpatti on June 23 while in judicial custody with the relatives alleging they were tortured at the Sathankulam police station by the personnel days earlier.

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