The footage shows police approaching the shop
TUTICORIN: A CCTV footage, which is said to be exposing the lies of the Sathankulam police in Tamil Nadu who are accused of torturing and murdering mobile shop owner J Beniks and his father P Jayaraj, has emerged.
Friends of Beniks have circulated the CCTV footage taken from a shop next to the mobile shop at Sathankulam.
While the FIR registered against the father-son duo on June 19 says they had rolled on the ground and thereby suffered injuries, the video shows that nothing of that sort had happened.
The nearly 15-minute-long footage from King Electricals, that is adjacent to Beniks’s APJ Mobiles, was retrieved from the hard disk nearly a week after the incident.
A close friend of Beniks told TOI that the issue began late in the evening on June 18 when Jeyaraj and a few others were at their respective shops near the Sathankulam old bus stand.
“Police were asking shops to close. Jeyaraj and a few others were just passing some casual remarks regarding the announcement and everyone left the place. A man from the locality had twisted facts and informed the police. This is the background of the video we have shared. In this video, the time is two hours in advance. The time displayed as 9.30pm is actually 7.30pm. It is a technical issue,” said the friend.
All the shops in the locality remaining open proves that it was well within the stipulated time for shops to function and A P J Mobiles was not the only shop to remain open beyond the lockdown time fixed by the government, he said. Shops could remain open till 8pm.
The video begins with Jeyaraj, in white shirt and dhoti, standing in front of his son’s shop and talking to a couple of men. Two minutes later, a police vehicle reaches the other side of the road.
Since the CCTV footage does not have audio, friends of Beniks who witnessed the turn of events bridged the gap for TOI. Only the lower portion of the white vehicle is seen in the footage.
A policeman in uniform with his face covered with a handkerchief approaches Jeyaraj and asks for Jeyaraj. “But he (Jeyaraj) said he does not know as he was unaware of the reason why they asked for him,” said a friend.
The cop then talks to a couple of people standing near the autorickshaw stand and walks away. For the next eight minutes, Jeyaraj is still seen standing and casually walking in front of the shop, after which two more policemen in uniform approach him and talk to him.
“About a minute later, the police in the vehicle on the other side of the road called Jeyaraj and he crossed the road,” he said.
The footage shows Jeyaraj crossing the road. The other side of the road is not visible in the footage. A minute later, friends of Beniks, who are inside the shop, come out rushing and is followed by Beniks in yellow shirt and black pants. He goes past them to the other side of the road.
“Police asked his father to get into the vehicle. They asked Beniks to come to the police station later,” the friend added.
The police vehicle leaves the place. Beniks crosses the road and walks back to his shop, trying to contact someone on his mobile phone.
According to the FIR, the father and the son and a few others were having a conversation. The others left and the police advised them about the Covid-19 pandemic. The FIR added that the father and son then sat on the floor and also rolled ‘causing internal injuries’ in the act and also used abusive language, forcing the police to go back to the police station and to register a case against them.
“Three of our friends were there when this happened. We also went to the police station with a few others and all of us are testimony to what happened. We have not taken this video to the police. We will expose the lies of the police and prove our friend’s innocence in front of the court and fight till our friend and all the others victimised by the Sathankulam police under their custody get justice,” a friend added.