TIRUNELVELI/THOOTHUKUDI: The kith and kin of the two Sathankulam traders, who were allegedly killed in police custody, received the bodies from Tirunelveli Medical College Hospital on Thursday. The autopsy was performed on Wednesday night. Though the family refused to receive the bodies, they changed their stand after the High Court took the case suo motu.
Jayaraj’s daughter, Persis, echoing the sentiment of her family, had insisted on the precondition of registering an FIR against the suspected police officers, Sathankulam inspector Srithar, Sub-Inspectors Ragu Ganesh and Balakrishnan. But later, she and her relatives changed stand, saying they believed in the judicial system.
Persis said, “We received the bodies as our mother, Selvarani, is weak. The judiciary taking suo motu cognisance into the case and directing the officials concerned to videograph the postmortem accordingly, are satisfactory. This move has reposed our trust on the judiciary. ” A divisional bench of Madras HC on Wednesday had directed the concerned authorities to perform the post mortem in the presence of three doctors, videograph the procedure and submit a copy of the autopsy report, inquest report and video footage to the court.
Earlier on Thursday, Kovilpatti Judicial Magistrate Barathidasan held the inquest as per the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court order at Tirunelveli. Beniks’ sisters, Persis and Beulah, and their mother J Selvarani and a few relatives participated in the inquest.It was after this that the family members received the bodies. In Sathankulam, the bodies of Jeyaraj and Beniks were kept in front of their shops near Kamarajar statue for people to pay their last respects.
A few hours later, they were laid to rest at Sathankulam cemetery. Thoothukudi MP Kanimozhi Karunanidhi visited the victim’s house. Palayamkottai Central Prison Superintendent Krishna Kumar conducted an inquiry at Kovilpatti Sub-jail where the father-son duo died, after another inmate ‘fell ill’. Sources said one S Raja Singh (36) of Panaivilai was taken by police on May 21 in connection with the murder of one Jeyakumar (40).
He was interrogated by Sub-Inspectors Ragu Ganesh and Balakrishnan. On June 17, he was lodged at Kovilpatti Sub-jail. Rajasingh allegedly fainted at his cell suffering injuries at rectum. The jailor shifted him to Government Kovilpatti Hospital. However, police claimed that Rajasingh suffered chest pain. It may be noted that one S Mahendran (27), brother of a murder suspect Durai, was allegedly roughed up by the two sub-inspectors. Mahendran was taken by police on May 24 and was let go on 26 as he had no connection with the murder. He died on June 15.