TN Custodial Deaths: Kamal Haasan Demands EPS Govt To File Murder Charges
CHENNAI: Filmstar-turned-politician Kamal Haasan on Monday asked Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E Palaniswami to file murder charges against the accused in the appalling Tuticorin custodial deaths case.
In a tweet, Haasan asked the CM not to “shirk responsibility” in the incident by simply handing over the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). “Don’t add this to cases in cold storage under CBI like the Gutka scam and the (2018) Tuticorin police firing,” the Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) party chief said.
On Sunday, the CM Palaniswami had assured that the Tuticorin custodial death case will be handed over to the CBI after seeking Madras High Court’s permission in the June 30 hearing.
Kamal Haasan had earlier expressed disgust over the Tuticorin custodial deaths and stated that the incident that has taken place in Santhukulam “can happen to any one of us” and further termed it as unjust and “complete violation of human rights”. He interpellated Palaniswami and urged that monetary relief for the victims’ families is not enough and that stern action must be taken in this brutal incident.
The MNM founder had also questioned the alleged suspension of the two sub-inspectors who were actively involved in the custodial death of the innocent civilians.
“Don’t shirk your responsibility by handing over the case to the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation). Uphold justice. Don’t wait for people to forget and don’t add this to the list of cases in cold storage,” Kamal Haasan tweeted Monday morning.
He was referring to the deaths of 13 people during police firing at an anti-Sterlite protest in Tuticorin two years ago. That case was also given to the CBI. No headway has been made in the case since.
Kamal Haasan visited members of the family on Sunday, after which the MNM (Makkal Needhi Maiam) chief said “a government and chief minister who blindly support police murders are also prime accused”.
P Jayaraj (59) and his son Bennicks (31) were picked up for questioning by the cops in Sathankulam police for violating lockdown rules on June 23. As per police, the duo kept their mobile shop open during the lock down. They were allegedly beaten to death by the police and as per some reports, were also sexually assaulted in police custody.
This incident led to the state-wide uproar with more than a thousand people protesting in Sathankulam town in Thoothukudi district. The furor even spread to social media with #JusticeForJayarajAndFenix becoming a top trend on Twitter. Meanwhile, the state has suspended four policemen, including two sub-inspectors involved in the incident.
Family members, who have also demanded murder charges, have said they will wait on the decision of the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court, which has ordered a Judicial Magistrate’s probe.
Meanwhile, The incident has triggered widespread outrage across the country, with many calling Jeyaraj and his son the “George Floyds of India”. Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra, cricketer Shikhar Dawan and Jignesh Mevani, an independent MLA from Gujarat, were among those who spoke out on the issue.
(With Agency Inputs).