According to his kin, Rajkumar was kept in illegal detention for up to 4 days before being produced in court.

4 cops suspended after Kerala man dies due to alleged custodial torture
news Custodial death Tuesday, June 25, 2019 - 17:41

After a 49-year-old man from Idukki in Kerala died after being taken into custody by the police, his relatives have now alleged custodial torture. The deceased, Rajkumar, was arrested by the Nedumkandam police on June 15 in a loan fraud case. According to the police, Rajkumar had cheated 34 self-help groups after taking money from them.

However, Rajkumar’s relatives contradict the police version and say that he was taken for questioning on June 12.

“For 4 days he was in police custody, where he was beaten up. His arrest was recorded on June 15 and on 16th he was produced before the court and remanded to judicial custody,” said Jacob, Rajkumar’s relative.

Rajkumar was admitted to the Peermedu taluk hospital on June 21 and was declared dead soon after reaching.

Antony, another relative of Rajkumar’s, added that the post-mortem report showed injuries on the deceased, particularly on his thigh and leg.

Rajkumar’s kin have now approached the Chief Minister and the district Superintendent of Police to file complaints against the Nedumkandam police.

A total of 4 officers from the Nedumkandam police station including SI KA Sabu have been suspended following preliminary investigation. These includes SI KA Sabu, ASI CB Rejimon, drivers Niyas and Sajimon and Antony. Six other officers from the  station, including the CI Reji M Kunhiparambil, civil police officers Biju Lukose, Shaji, Rajesh and Geethu Gopinath have been transferred by the District Superintendent following Rajkumar’s death. The decision was taken after irregularities in the preliminary investigation came to light. The CI of Nedumkandam has now been shifted to the Mullaperiyar police station. A high level meeting held with Kochi Range IG Kaliraj Mahesh Kumar led to the action against the officers. 

Speaking to TNM, Kattapana DySP Rajmohan said, “As far as the police records go, Rajkumar was arrested on June 15. Further, the post-mortem reports clearly indicate that pneumonia was the cause of death. Although there are a few abrasions and contusions below his waist, there is no trace of injuries on any organ on his upper body.”

(With inputs from Sandeep Vellaram) 

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