Chennai: Praise has been pouring in from all quarters for Head Constable Revathy (37) for giving out crucial details in the Sathankulam ‘custodial deaths’ of P Jayaraj (58) and his son Bennix (32).
She told the Judicial Magistrate who had come to the station for an inquiry that the father and son duo were subjected to torture an entire night.
Revathy was on night duty on 19 June and she witnessed the brutality by her colleagues on the men which went on till the morning of 20 June.
‘..due to this there were blood stains on the lathis and a table and she said they (stains) should be collected immediately as they (policemen) could try to erase them,’ the Magistrate report quoted her in the four-page report.
Revathy knew she would come under an inquiry following the incident. Despite her fear, she told the truth. Her statement was video-recorded.
It was only after her statement the Magistrate was prompted to collect the lathis in the police station as evidence.
But the incident has cost her much. She expressed fear for her family to move about in her district. Also, she did not want to go back to the station immediately. She also feared retaliation from senior police officials. ‘Anything could happen to her’.
The Magistrate told the Court that even as Revathy told them about the torture meted out to Jeyaraj and Bennix, she hesitated in signing the statement.
She requested her name not be used in the report, but after being assured of safety she signed it. The High Court too observed the danger surrounding Revathy and her family and asked District Collector to give protection.
According to reports, District Collector Sandeep Nanduri has ensured that two police constables are appointed for the protection of her family and she was granted a month’s leave from work.
It may be noted that on 19 June, police picked up Jayaraj for keeping his shop open beyond the curfew time. When his son Bennix went to the station, he too was taken into custody and the duo were allegedly beaten to death.
The case is embroiled in several controversies as the FIR version contradicts the CCTV visuals. The FIR stated the duo resisted arrest and rolled on the floor causing internal injuries. The police said they threatened the policemen. However, the CCTV showed only Jeyaraj was present at the shop and he did not create a scene when the police came.