Actor Suriya is the latest celebrity to voice his opinion against the custodial death of Sathankulam’s father-son duo Jayaraj and Beniks. The two were taken to the Sathankulam police station in Tuticorin in the pretext of enquiry and were allegedly tortured by the cops who inflicted several injuries.
Jayaraj and Beniks’s custodial death has sparked an outrage across the country with many celebrities demanding justice for the victims and their family. Suriya’s strongly-worded press release, which was released on June 27, called it an ‘organised crime’.
He said that the cops alone are not at fault here. The magistrate, who deemed the duo fit, and the doctors who gave them a false certificate are equally responsible for their custodial death. He further added that the custodial deaths have put the credibility of the police department at stake and now they cannot term it as a negligent act.
Suriya’s powerful statement in Tamil is applauded by the netizens. Many called it a perfectly-worded statement that explains the root cause.
— Suriya Sivakumar (@Suriya_offl) June 27, 2020
Here’s the translation of Suriya’s statement:
“Violation of power must end!
Human rights organisations insist that “those who commit unforgivable crimes should not be put to death.” Police crackdown on ‘lockout violation’ at Sathankulam police station, killing two innocent lives is an act that puts their credibility in question. It cannot be passed off as ‘this is an accident that happened somewhere.’
Jayaraj and his son Beniks have both been tested by a government doctor and deemed them fit after being brutally assaulted by police. The magistrate, who has to uphold justice, has ordered the detention of the victims without checking the status of the victims. Prison trials were also not properly conducted. Such ‘breach of duty’ sheds light on the indifference of our ‘power systems’ in the rights of a citizen. Thus, such ‘tragic deaths’ are a kind of organised crime.
If not for the death of two people, this brutal attack by the police would have gone unnoticed. Even if the victims get out of jail, they will be living witnesses to ‘what will happen if you oppose the police?’ The father and son have been shaken by the conscience of the community through their deaths. In this terrible death, all who fail to do their duty must be brought to justice and punished. The Supreme Court itself has filed a suo moto case for trial and gives hope for justice.
Similarly, the government and the judiciary must create the belief that “no one who does wrong can escape punishment.” On the contrary, our ‘power systems’ are distrustful. Immediately after the death of two innocents, the immediate action is to turn the concerned police into an ‘armed forces’. Working in the Armed Forces is a ‘punitive task’ which creates an image among the public.
‘Is this the punishment for those who killed two lives?’ Following the criticism, the concerned policemen were dismissed. I personally know many who are doing their duty in the police force. At a time when the whole country is running unstoppable, the police are working for the welfare of the people. I bow down to the frontline policemen during the coronavirus scare. At the same time, my strong condemnation of the police for using brutal force against the public. Violence of power can never win people’s minds. It is the police who are doing their duty with love and concern that keeps people in mind.
The loss of two lives at the same time is an irreparable loss to a family. I share the grief of those families who have lost their father and son. I urge the government, the court and the responsible police authorities to take necessary action and reforms to prevent further ‘violence of the police’ from occurring. I, as one among the public, am waiting for the perpetrators and their accomplices to be quickly punished and ‘justice upheld.'”
Edapadi K Palanisamy, Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, said that the two policemen who are responsible for the deaths have been suspended and the inspector of Sathankulam station has been kept under compulsory waiting.