June 23, 2020

Rape and Murder- A Police Brutality story

Trigger Warning: Mentions of Rape and Abuse.
Updated: 11:50 | 30/06/2020

While the murder of George Floyd is rocking the western civilizations with protests against police brutality, India is busy putting out fires of a harrowing & ongoing pandemic. That still, doesn’t stop the world’s largest democracy from committing crimes against its citizen. Police brutality is exceedingly normalized in Indian society, it never raises any citizen’s eyebrows. From the brutal murder of ‘alleged’ Telegana rapists to Tuticorin Sterlite protest encounters, abuse of power by the Police department is very well-known and ignored. A Father-Son duo was brutally raped and killed inside a police station earlier today at Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu. 

Emmanuel Bennicks (31), a mobile-accessory shop owner and his father Jayaraj (59) were penalized by the Sathankulam local police for violating the lockdown curfew and running their shop late on June 18. The duo was later booked for allegedly arguing and assaulting the police. They were moved to Kovilpatti sub-jail on June 20, where the local prison sources discovered unfathomable injuries on Bennicks’s knees and anal cavity; while the father Jayaraj had brutally maimed knee-caps. Rajkumar, a friend of Bennicks asserts that 'On June 20 between 7 am and 12 pm, the duo had changed their lungies at least 7 times due to excessive bleeding.' The official report states that at 7:30 PM on 22 June, Bennicks had chest pain and he was rushed to Kovilpatti Government Hospital where he later died. His father, Jayaraj too had a fever and was admitted to the same hospital before passing away on 23rd June. 

A quick 101 on the definition of rape- Rape is a type of sexual assault usually involving sexual intercourse or other forms of sexual penetration carried out against a person without that person's consent. The act may be carried out by physical force, coercion, abuse of authority, or against a person who is incapable of giving valid consent, such as one who is unconscious, incapacitated, has an intellectual disability, or is below the legal age of consent. 

There are no two ways about this, Bennicks was raped. Police forcefully penetrated a baton into his anus which triggered uncontrollable bleeding. At Kovilpatti sub-jail, Bennicks was hemorrhaging. He presumably developed sepsis which advanced to a fatal septic shock causing his death. Jayaraj, who is too old to handle his physical abuse and his son’s death died of a heart attack. What was their crime?- Running a shop during late hours and arguing with the police. What was their punishment?- Rape and murder. 

Power-hungry and Egomaniacal police officers couldn’t stomach the fact that public can question. They also threatened Bennicks and Jayaraj of severe repercussions if they reveal any details of their custodial torture. The involved sub-inspectors were reportedly shifted to Armed Reserve Police Force. It was done after the backlash and protests from locals and politicians. This was the ‘punishment’ furnished by the police department for their rapists’ officers. While politicians and protesters demanded monetary compensation for the victim’s family, legal actions must be taken against the involved sub-inspectors-Balakrishnan and Pauldurai. They must especially be booked under IPC Section 375, for rape and murder of Bennicks. 
 
Police brutality isn't new, Outrage is. The more we question the people in power, the more we can hold corrupt and murderous officials accountable. We live in a democracy.[line]
Update 1: New statements imply that police initially arrested Jayaraj and assaulted him. Knowing this, Bennicks rushed to the police station to question the police's brutality against his father. Ravi and Rajkumar (Bennick's friends) divulge that Bennicks too was later assaulted, and they saw him 'naked and covered in blood inside the police station.' There are overwhelming eyewitness-corroborations to penalize the involved police officers. Times Now's investigation revealed foul-play around every corner. The official Jail document shows that Jayaraj and Bennicks were bleeding from the Gluteal region. In spite of contradicting statements from Police officials involved, they agreed that a doctor deemed Jayaraj & Bennicks as 'fit'. 

Why didn't the Jail officials provide immediate medical care for Jayaraj & Bennicks? Why did the doctor give the duo a fitness certificate? They were all an accessory in the rape & murder for Bennicks-Jayaraj. 

Update 2Indian Express accessed a Judicial report that narrates a similar incident a fortnight ago, where at least 7 adults and a minor was tortured for three days by the very Sathankulam police officers. One person died and three sustained gruesome injuries. After massive outrage and protests, Eddapadi Palaniswami- Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, transferred the case to the CBI. The CBI's involvement is notoriously known to drag any 'open & shut' case for eons.

Update 3: News7 Tamil, a local Tamil news channel first accessed CCTV footage from outside Jeyaraj & Bennicks's Mobile shop that shows a discrepancy with the version drafted in FIR (First Information Report). CCTV footage clearly shows no tussle between the duo and police. This also proves the FIR's account that Bennicks-Jeyaraj fought and 'rolled' on the floor is false. Neither Bennix nor Jayaraj resisted arrest. [English News Source: here]

Update 4: Madurai Bench of Madras High court (MHC) has initiated a Suo Motu Criminal contempt case against Tuticorin Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP) and a Police Constable. The report states that 'District Police Administration is doing everything in their command to prevent the learned Magistrate from proceeding the inquiry. The report shows that ASP and DSP made themselves available in the Sathankulam Police Station and in their very presence, the other policemen were taking videos of the Magisterial proceedings. The policemen were not giving the records called for by the learned Magistrate and it is seen one of them, viz, Maharajan, Police constable had made a very disparaging remark in Tamil "உன்னால் ஒன்னும் புடுங்கமுடியாதுடா" to the learned Magistrate'. Madurai Bench also urged the State Government to transfer ASP, DSP, and all the police personnel at Sathankulam Police Station to conduct a free and fair inquiry.

If an esteemed Magistrate is treated this way, one can imagine how they would've wielded the public. Trichy Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) Balakrishnan Velaiah in his Facebook post informs that they removed 80 police personnel in Trichy vicinity who need 'Behavioral correction' to improve their interpersonal skills. They were also assigned to complete a specially designed course with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) component to improve the way they deal with the public.[line]

Alert : This is a developing story.

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