Everyone condemned the death of George Floyd, a black man who was the victim of police brutality in the Untied States. People conducted protests all over the globe including many in India. While all of criticized the police brutality in the United States, we forgot to look in our own backyard.
P Jeyaraj (58) and his son Fenix (38) were hard working citizens of India who were a victim of police brutality in India. The Sathankulam police allegedly arrested them for keeping their stores open past permitted hours as per the lockdown guidelines for preventing the spread of Covid 19. There were brutally tortured all night in police custody to the point where they were stripped completely naked and even their genitals were not spared. This wasn’t law enforcement, its inhumane torture just for pleasure.
2 days later, they died. No one really gave any attention to this matter until one of their uploaded a video on social media which went viral recently. She clearly told about how much they suffered unfairly and raised very appropriate questions-“Why does no one notice when it does not happen in an English speaking area?”, “Why is the social media so slow to pick up incidents that happen in small cities?”. Issues in South India are usually neglected by the public, though there are many reasons, one of them is that no one really takes the effort to try to understand until they use Hindi or English.
The worst part is, no action has been taken against their murderers. The police officers were just transferred, yes instead of a FIR against them, murderers just get away with a transfer. Though the incident happened some time ago, it just recently became viral on social media after which the government decided to compensate their families with 1 million rupees.
After the video a lot of organizations looked into custodial torture in India and turns out, its actually pretty common. Almost 5 people die due to custodial torture every day. Police torture and beatings is actually unofficially a part of the policing system in India which is used to extract information or a confession from the victim, that does not justify doing the same for every small incident. Even if they did break rules by opening their shops past permitted hours, the crime isn’t big enough to actually torture and brutally beat up the accused. The saddest part is, in most cases of custodial deaths due to police brutality, the murderers go unpunished and are transferred.
The police exists for protecting the citizens, who would we go to if we are scared of the police ourselves. Even murderers don’t deserve deaths as brutal as Jeyaraj and Fenix did, they deserve justice and that is only possible if we all do our bit to pressurize the government to take action.
Grade XII, Manav Rachna International School, Gurgaon
Akshit is an enthusiastic young man who has keen interest in global affairs and politics. He believes it’s his duty to contribute to society as a human being and hopes his actions can benefit the world. He has taken part and even organized multiple debate competitions all over the nation.