Five more police personnel, including a Sub-Inspector, were arrested in the Tuticorin custodial deaths case on Wednesday. All of them were posted at the Sathankulam Police Station where Jeyaraj and his son Beniks were allegedly tortured by the police on the night of 19 June, before they died in the hospital.
The arrests of Sub Inspector Paldurai and Head Constables Vail Muthu, Samadurai, Chelladaurai and Thomas, are in addition to the five police personnel already arrested in the case.
The constables are accused of holding the victims while the sub-inspector thrashed them.
Investigators have filed a case of murder, wrongful confinement and causing disappearance of evidence.
"They had held the accused while the SI beat them," senior police official Shankar said, adding that this takes the total arrest of police personnel in this case to 10 including an Inspector and two Sub-Inspectors.
Jeyaraj, 59, and his son Beniks, 31, were arrested on June 19 for keeping their mobile phone shop open 15 minutes beyond permitted hours. The police claimed the two had fought, showered verbal abuses and rolled around on the street while resisting arrest.
The two men were allegedly subjected to brutal torture in police custody. Their family alleges they had severe internal and external wounds, including rectal bleeding.
Beniks was admitted to hospital at 7.45 pm on June 22. He died around 9 pm, according to a timeline released last night by the police. His father was admitted around 10.30 pm the same night. Jeyaraj died early next day, at 5.40 am.
The deaths have generated waves of outrage and calls for murder charges against the police involved. Activists, politicians and celebrities have called for justice.
The police had only registered a case of suspicious deaths till now. The state government has handed over the investigation to the CBI.