India's Ravichandran Ashwin
India's Ravichandran Ashwin looks on as he leaves the ground after taking 5 wickets during the third day's play of the first Test match against South Africa at the Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium in Visakhapatnam on October 4, 2019. Image Credit: AFP

Cricketers Ravichandran Ashwin has added his voice to the growing calls for justice for the family of shopkeeper Jeyaraj and his son who were allegedly killed in police custody in Thoothukudi district of Tamil Nadu.

“Every single life matters. We should make sure that this act of brutality is meted out with justice, and I am not sure justice will be any solace for the family of #JeyarajandFenix and my thoughts are with them,” India star Ashwin said on his official Twitter handle.

“Hopefully we will value lives more than just hastags, and sincerely hope this is last one of those hashtags we may ever have to use. #JusticeForJeyarajAndFenix.”

The hashtag #JusticeForJeyarajAndFenix trended on social media after people from various walks of life joined in online protests for accountability from the Tamil Nadu Police.

“Horrified to hear about the brutality inflicted upon Jeyaraj & Fenix in Tamil Nadu. We must raise our voice and make sure justice is given to the family. #JusticeForJeyarajAndFenix,” tweeted fellow India cricketer Shikhar Dhawan.

Tennis player Sania Mirza has also spoken out about the incident, asking people to forward the post so non-Tamil speaking people can understand what happened.

According to media reports, the father-son duo were arrested for allegedly keeping their stores open past permitted hours in the state which is still observing a lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Both men were allegedly kept in police custody and died within hours of each other two days later.