Jai Bhim (Eng: Victory to Bhim) is a 2021 Indian Tamil-language legal drama film directed by T. J. Gnanavel and produced by Jyothika and Suriya under 2D Entertainment. Jai Bhim stars Suriya with Lijomol Jose and Manikandan in the lead. Whilst Rajisha Vijayan, Prakash Raj, Rao Ramesh and others in supporting roles. Jai Bhim deals with the subject of police bias and state violence against a marginalised community. Jai Bhim is based on a true incident in 1993, which involves a case fought by Justice K. Chandru, it revolves around the lives of Sengeni and Rajakannu, a couple from the Irular tribe.
Rajakannu was arrested by the police, and was later missing from the police station. Sengeni seeks the help of an advocate Chandru to seek justice for her husband.
In 1993, Rajakannu and Sengeni are a couple from the oppressed Irula tribe who labour in the fields of upper-caste men to control rat infestation and catch venomous snakes. Rajakannu is called to a rich man’s dwelling to catch a snake that sneaked inside a room. The next day, a case of burglary is reported when the wife of the man reports missing jewellery pieces from her closet and raises doubt on Rajakannu. The police invade Rajakannu’s home to find evidence. Rajakannu had left the town earlier for work. During the invasion, the police brutally beat and unlawfully detain the pregnant Sengeni. The police arrest other relatives: Rajakannu’s brother Iruttupan, his sister Pachaiammal and his brother-in-law Mosakutty, and torture them to confess Rajakannu’s whereabouts. The police find Rajakannu and imprison him. They torture him to confess the crime but release Sengeni. Later, she is informed that all three men in detention are absconding and police threaten her furthermore to tell them about their whereabouts.
Mythra, who teaches adults from Irula tribe, learns about Chandru, a lawyer who fights cases for tribal communities, and manages to convince him to seek justice for Sengeni. After listening to the narration of all events that happened until then from Sengeni, Chandru files a habeas corpus case in the High court. Initially the court advises them to file the petition in a lower court, but Chandru asks for witness examination, which is not the procedure in a heabeus corpus case. But Chandru cites the Rajan case, and the court yields. The Solicitor general appearing for the police, based on the police officers’ evidence, argues that Rajakannu and the other two had absconded from the police custody the night they were arrested. Finding gaps in the witnesses’ statements, Chandru discovers that they were committing perjury and asks the court to investigate Sub-Inspector Gurumurthy (a casteist), head constable Veerasamy and constable Kirubakaran.
Advocate General Ram Mohan takes over the case and in defence of the police, claims that the three accused have fled to Kerala. Varadarajulu, the employer of Iruttapan, acknowledges that Iruttapan informed him through a phone call that he had fled to Kerala after committing robbery. Chandru discovered that the three policemen in question went to Kerala to make a phone call to Varadarajulu which Gurumurthy admits, that he mimicked the voice of Iruttapan. The court appoints IG Perumalsamy as the lead officer of this case, upon Chandru’s request. After continuing search for weeks, Chandru, Perumalsamy and Mythra find that Rajakannu’s corpse was found in the middle of a road near meters into border of Pondicherry, the day after he supposedly fled. He was cremated after being photographed as an unknown man. Both believe that Rajakannu did not die due to a car accident, rather due to lock-up murder.
Chandru consults the pathologist who conducted the post-mortem examination on Rajakannu. The pathologist says the cause of death was due to the breaking of the ribcage, which in turn, led a fragment of bone being driven into Rajakannu’s heart, but theorises that this could be caused by a car running over him. Veerasamy confesses to Ram Mohan that Rajakannu died in custody. Veerasamy called Gurumurthy after the death. Gurumurthy told Veerasamy that he should stage that both have escaped and leave Rajakannu on the road, framing his death as occurring due to a car accident. Mosakutty and Iruttapan were transferred to another jail in Kerala. After hearing this, Ram Mohan advises them to maintain their narrative in court. Chandru checks the call history of the police station and informs the court that a call to Gurumurthy’s residence was made at 9:10 pm, which does not corroborate with Veerasamy’s evidence. Chandru asks the court for more time to investigate.
Chandru, Mythra, Sengeni and the Irular tribe campaigns against the injustice that had happened. Chandru finds that Irutappan indeed called Varadarajulu, but the police coerced him to make that call. Mythra finds Iruttapan and Mosakutty and they testify in court about the torture all three of them went through and how the policemen killed Rajakannu. Perumalsamy says the policemen took bribe from the actual thief. Chandru also says that on the road where Rajakannu’s corpse was found, there were a set of tyre marks. There were also footprints that matched Gurumurthy’s and Constable Kiruba’s footprints. After hearing these evidence, the court announces the verdict: the policemen who killed Rajakannu will be arrested, Sengeni will get ₹3 lakh and half a ground land as compensation while Iruttapan, Mosakutty and Pachaiamma get ₹2 lakh each. Sengeni thanks Chandru for his help and he attends the inauguration of Sengeni’s new house, fulfilling Rajakannu’s dream to get Sengeni a new house.
Directed by T. J. Gnanavel
Written by T. J. Gnanavel
Produced by Jyothika & Suriya
Starring Suriya, Lijomol Jose, Manikandan
Cinematography S. R. Kathir
Edited by Philomin Raj
Music by Sean Roldan
Production 2D Entertainment
Distributed by Amazon Prime Video
Release date 2 November 2021
Running time 164 minutes