Attempts to derail probe into custodial death of Kerala man, alleges Congress

Ramesh Chennithala - The Federal
UDF Chairman, Ramesh Chennithala called the UDF manifesto the Bible, Quran and the Gita, which was drafted after detailed consultations with experts and stakeholders

Kerala Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala on Saturday said there were attempts to derail the investigation into the custodial death of a man charged with financial fraud in Idukki district’s Nedumkandam.

Chennithala alleged that higher officials, including the Superintendent of Police, was behind this and sought a judicial probe into the case.

Rajkumar, (49), who was taken into custody on June 12 in connection with a financial fraud case, died on June 21 in Peermedu sub-jail, allegedly due to custodial torture.

“There are attempts from higher police officials, including the Superintendent of Police, to derail the investigation. The facts and truth behind the matter can be brought out only through a judicial investigation,” Chennithala told mediapersons after visiting Rajkumar’s family.

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The Opposition Leader alleged that Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who is also the Home Minister, has got no control over the police.

He also pointed out that the fraud charge under which Rajkumar was taken into custody should be probed.

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Chennithala said it was difficult to believe that Rajkumar, a school dropout, would plan any financial fraud.

State electricity minister and an MLA from Idukki district, M M Mani, slammed the police and said they had created a situation to “defame” the government.

The district CPI leadership criticised the police and said such level of third-degree torture would have taken place only with the knowledge of the District police chief.

The Chief Minister had told the Kerala Assembly Wednesday that strict action would be taken against police personnel if there were any lapses in the case relating to the custodial death of a remand prisoner.

“There is something suspicious behind the incident. There is no need for the government to justify any mistake,” Vijayan had said.

Four police personnel—including a Sub Inspector, Assistant Sub Inspector and two drivers of Nedumkandam police station have been suspended and eight others transferred in connection with Rajkumar’s death.

As per the initial post-mortem report, he had suffered serious injuries and had at least 32 wounds on both legs below the knee.

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