COVID-19 spread in Sathankulam probe: CBI officers and one accused cop test positive!

The four officers of the probing team of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) attached to the probe into the custodial deaths of Jayaraj and Bennicks in Sathankulam, Thoothukudi have now tested for the COVID-19 pandemic and they have been kept in the quarantine facility. 

According to the reports, the two of the four infected officers, a 47-year-old constable, and a 29-year-old sub-inspector had developed symptoms for the viral infection amid the investigation, and their swabs were collected for COVID-19 testing at Government Rajaji Hospital in Madurai. 

The results spelled positive for the pandemic following which they have moved to the quarantine facility. After the shocking development, the probing team had produced three of the detained cops, connected to the custodial deaths, before the court on Wednesday, one day prior to the scheduled date of hearing for seeking an extension for the judicial custody. 

According to the reports, the Chief Judicial Magistrate had remanded them under the judicial custody in Madurai till August 5. Following the two CBI officers, the other two officers of the eight-member probing team had also been tested positive and along with them, the reports confirmed that one of ten police officers arrested in the case Balthurai has been confirmed to have contracted to the virus on Friday. 

So far, ten officers attached to the Sathankulam police station had detained and lodged in the Madurai Central prison and Balthurai, who was the Special Sub-Inspector of the station, became the first one in the list of arrested cops to test positive for COVID-19, and the developments from the probe had likely brought a pause to the investigations. 

On the other hand, suspended and arrested Inspector of Sathankulam Sridhar, who was one of the prime accused in the case of beating and torturing the father and son duo in the prison, had been taken to the hospital. The prison officials said that Sridhar has been complaining of neck pain since he brought to the prison following which the orthopedic doctor came to the Madurai prison, checked the suspended officer, and prescribed to take x-ray.

Based on the doctor's advice, Sridhar was taken to Government Rajaji Hospital on Thursday morning. All these ten officers were initially lodged at Perurani district jail in Thoothukudi and later they were brought to the Madurai Central prison under the grounds of security concerns. 

Madurai has been one the active hotspots in the COVID-19 spread and the sequel of the rapid spread had led to the infection of the CBI officers and one police officer. According to the reports, the source of infection for the probing officers and the arrested police officer is yet to be ascertained.