While, on one hand, the voices for demanding justice for Jayaraj and Felix who died under police custody in Thoothukudi, Tamil Nadu get stronger and attained the national attention, on the other hand, the Madras High Court Madurai bench has prescribed the pack of advice to government to reduce and alleviate the stress endured by the police personnel in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown triggered by the outbreak.
The High court bench has taken the matter of the custodial death of the father and son duo under suo motu cognizance and heard the case. When the matter came up for hearing on Friday, the High court bench comprised of Justices PN Prakash and Pugalendhi suggested the Tamil Nadu government frame the policies and standard operating procedures (SOP) in conducting counseling and yoga sessions for the police personnel to lower the stress and tensions.
According to the reports, the bench had issued the suggestion to the state government after the government's counsel disclosed that the Director-General of Police has recently constituted the SOPs for the law enforcement agency to deal with the people who violate the lockdown. The government asserted to the bench that the high-level committee would be formulating the comprehensive guidelines.
On Wednesday, the court had directed the Thoothukudi District Superintendent of Police to disclose the report on the custody death of the father and son duo, who died one after the other under police custody. The Superintendent of Police had disclosed the report on Friday to the bench. During Friday's hearing, the court said that the family members of the victims have faith in the judiciary and called the public to refrain from issuing any statements in social media as it would spur up problems.
By directing the Deputy Superintendent of Police, Kovilpatti to continue probing the case, the High Court bench had adjourned the proceedings to June 30 for further hearing. As judiciary has been monitoring the case, on the other hand, the state's ruling and opposition parties and announced compensation for the family of the victims one after the other.
On Friday, Tamil Nadu Opposition party DMK, which has strongly reprimanded the custodial death of the father and son, said that the party would be providing Rs 25 lakh compensation to the family members who are bereaving for the loss. The announcement of the solatium was made by the party's president Stalin and hours after his announcement, the state ruling ADMK has said that it would also provide Rs 25 lakh compensation to Jayaraj's family.
Earlier, the Tamil Nadu government has announced Rs 20 lakh compensation to the family and on behalf of the government, senior state minister Kadambur Raju met Jayaraj's family on Friday and handed over the compensation from the government. The state has been witnessing a massive outrage in the wake of the custodial death that has been dubbed as police brutality.
According to the reports, an FIR has been filed against Sathankulam Police Inspector Sridhar, and Sub Inspectors Balakrishnan and Ragu Ganesh, and all three have been suspended after having been connected to the incident and the rest of police officers attached to the Sathankulam police station have been transferred. On Thursday, the family members received the bodies of the deceased after the Judicial Magistrate assured the family of justice.