Custodial Torture
Udayakumar, who died following custodial torture in 2005, was Prabhavathi Amma's only son.

At the age of 67 and after 13 years of wait and fight, Prabhavthi Amma says she "cannot expect anything more than this."

On Tuesday, a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Special Court in Thiruvananthapuram found five policemen guilty in connection with the custodial murder of her son Udayakumar in 2005.

In the infamous 'urutii kola' case (taken after brutal practice of ‘rolling’ a heavy wooden log over the body of an accused), the then 26-year-old was spread-eagled on a bench and crushed with an iron pipe.

The woman, who lost her only child to such brutality, was devastated after the tragedy, and nothing made her happy since then.

Following the court’s judgment on Tuesday, Prabhavthi Amma said she has “suffered the agony a person can undergo in a lifetime.”   

“I am happy that the court found the culprits guilty, but at the same time, I am sad that my son is not with me. It was a fight for my son and I hope to be where he is,” said Prabhavathi Amma, as she broke down in front of the media gathered outside the court.

She repeated that she is not afraid of anyone as she has nothing to lose now. “My life was for my son and with my son; without him, I have no life. But I have come this far,” she said.

She expressed her gratitude to everyone who stood by her in the fight that lasted for 13 years.

Prabhavathi Amma with her brother Mohanan 

“No one had asked me to come later whenever I approached them to initiate further steps in the case. I am thankful to the court for delivering justice and to all those who stood by me. Earlier, when I used to come to the court for the hearing, people unfamiliar to me would approach and say that I must not give up. In the past, I never used to go out like this for anything. Now that I had to come out and thought I would stop only after I get justice,” she said.

She also retrieved her statement that if mothers, who had gone through similar experience, had fought for justice, such brutality would not have repeated.

“I will not say it is for me; it is for all mothers. No other mother, and child should go through this. Mothers, who face similar experience should fight against such brutalities. There were attempts to kill me, so that the culprits could escape. By the grace of god, I have managed to survive these testing times. The goddess at the Mannadiyil temple near my house, was with me. Now if anyone would try to attack me, I would hurl at least a stone at him. I have lost my son, so I am fearless.”

She added, “I have not slept in the last 13 years. There were people who have ridiculed me. But I kept praying. We should not be tempted by money, even if we are offered it. Every government coming to power must terminate such policemen from service, because, if they are awarded suspension for three months, they will come back to service.”

Prabhavthi Amma is now living with the support of her brother P Mohanan and his family. “She got justice only because of her relentless fight for justice. It is not easy to have CBI investigation on a case,” said Mohanan, who accompanied her to the court.

13 years on, mother of Kerala custodial death victim still waits for justice