P Jayaraj and his son, arrested for ”violating” lockdown rules over business hours of their cellphone shop, passed away at a hospital in Kovilpatti on 23 June. Their relatives alleged that both of them were severely thrashed at Sathankulam police station by police personnel earlier, making it a case of custodial death. The incident triggered a national protest against police violence and loads of people, including celebrities, have demanded justice for the father-son duo.
In its aftermath, director Hari, known for helming hit cop-centric Tamil films like Singam and Saamy, has now condemned the custodial deaths of P Jayaraj and his son Fenix in an open letter, adding that he regrets making films that glorified the police force. “The Sathankulam incident should not happen to anyone else in Tamil Nadu,” his letter read as. He further wrote, “The only way for that is to punish all those involved with the highest sentence. The violation by some in the police force has brought dishonour upon the entire force. I am deeply saddened today for having made five films glorifying the police.”
Check it out here:
Director Hari regrets making five films which glorified the police force in his career. He says Tamil Nadu people shouldn't be subjected to another cruel incident like the one that happened in #Sathankulam.#JusticeForJayarajandBennicks #DirectorHari pic.twitter.com/whYYzfxos8
— Rajasekar (@sekartweets) June 28, 2020
For the unversed, Hari has directed Vikram-starrer Saamy (2003), Saamy Square (2018) apart from Singam series with Suriya in the lead. In fact, the latter was made in Hindi as Singham with Ajay Devgn in the lead role.
Coming back to P Jayaraj and Fenix’s deaths, the incident has led to the suspension of five policemen, including an inspector and two sub-inspectors. Commenting on the same, Chennai Police Commissioner AK Viswanathan told the media on Sunday, “Assault and torture (of the arrested) should not be done. As far as the Greater Chennai Police or the state police is concerned, we have reiterated that even language that could hurt someone should not be used.”
Lastly, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami claimed that guidelines have already been issued to police on how to deal with the public and traders. “They have been advised that public cannot be disturbed. If there is any issue, a case has to be filed and due action taken,” he stated.