Actor Surya’s Jai Bheem, now streaming on Amazon Prime Video, showcases the fight of a lawyer to get justice for the oppressed against police brutality. The film is based on the real life story of advocate and former Madras High Court Judge Justice Chandu and an incident that happened in Cuddalore district of Tamil Nadu in 1993.
The film is set in a village Kammapuram in Virudhachalam town of Cuddalore district in Tamil Nadu. The real village is said to be inhabited by 4 families belonging to the Kurumbar tribal community. In 1993, while they were on their way to neighboring villages to harvest paddy, 40 pieces of jewelry went missing from a house in Gopalapuram village. The police who came to the village to inquire about the theft have intimidated the people there.
Govindan, a member of the Marxist Communist Party, intervened and told the police to hand over Rajakannu, the tribal man. Rajakannu was arrested by the police in a false case of robbery. He was stripped naked and severely beaten at the police station. Rajakannu’s wife who went to the police station was shocked to see this. The following day, Rajakannu went missing from the police’s custody during the investigation.
Later, comrade Govindan rallied the Marxist Communist Party volunteers and carried out various phased struggles to inform the people of the situation. However, as no action was taken by the authorities to find Rajakannu, Govindan sought the help of lawyer K Chandru in Chennai.
The interim judgment was delivered in 1996, 3 years after the trial in the Madras High Court. The family of the victim was given a compensation of Rs 2 lakh 65 thousand and 3 cents of land by the government as per the order of the Madras High Court.
After Rajakannu went missing, police filed a report that Rajakannu’s body was dumped in a fishing boat in Jayankondam in Ariyalur district. Following this, the case of Rajakannu’s disappearance was made into a murder case. Twelve people were arrested and jailed, including Dr Ramachandran, a retired DSP, an inspector and an assistant inspector who had testified falsely before the HC bench.
The High Court also accepted Comrade Govindan’s request to appoint K Venkatraman of Chidambaram as Public Prosecutor. The trial court also transferred the case to the fast-track court. Following the verdict 13 years later, 5 guards were sentenced to 14 years in prison and the doctor to 3 years in prison.
Comrade Govindan, who had assisted in the investigation of the case, was intimidated but he continued to stand for justice despite being offered money. He even canceled his marriage for the case. He later got married after 13 years at the age of 39.