Sunil Chhetri, the India football captain, has spoken out about the deaths of shopkeeper P. Jeyaraj and his son J. Bennicks (aka Fenix), saying what happened in Tamil Nadu is “beyond acceptable”.
Jeyaraj and Bennicks were booked for not closing their mobile shop in time on June 19 by the Sathankulam police in Tuticorin district. They were remanded in judicial custody and lodged in Kovilpatti jail on June 21.
Jeyaraj died on June 22 night and his son Bennicks on June 23 morning in judicial custody. The family has alleged that police assault led to their deaths.
“What happened with Jeyaraj and Fenix is beyond acceptable. Nothing will give them their lives back, but justice should set a precedent, and a very strong one at that. #JeyarajandFenix,” Chhetri wrote on Twitter.
Earlier, ace Indian cricketers Ravichandran Ashwin and Shikhar Dhawan also condemned the brutal killing and demanded justice for the family.
“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,” Ashwin said on his official Twitter handle.
“Hopefully we will value lives more than just hashtags, and sincerely hope this is last one of those hashtags we may ever have to use. #JusticeForJeyarajAndFenix,” he added.
#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,” tweeted Dhawan.
Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Palaniswami has announced the transfer of probe in the case to Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).