NEW DELHI (AP) – Four police officers have been arrested over the deaths in custody of a father and son who were detained for keeping their shop open during a coronavirus lockdown in southern India, police said Thursday.
The police are investigating accusations that the officers badly beat the shopkeepers in Thoothukudi, a port city in Tamil Nadu state, last week and they face murder charges, senior police officer K. Shankar told reporters.
The arrests came on Wednesday and Thursday after a court ruled that autopsy reports of the father and son suggested the police officers had been involved in the two men’s deaths by torture.
The court ordered authorities to provide protection to a woman police officer who gave an eyewitness account of torture in custody of the two in the police station.
A complaint by family members said the 62-year-old shopkeeper was picked up by police from his shop on June 19. His 32-year-old son who went looking for his father also was detained by the police and the two were tortured and they later died.