The narrow passageway that lead to 32-year-old Sanal Kumar's house in Neyyattinkara, around 15 km from Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala, was adorned with posters demanding the arrest of Deputy Superintendent of Police B Harikumar.
Inside the house, a grieving wife and two children aged 2 and 3 were sitting in silence, too heartbroken to even come out for the condolence meeting taking place outside.
Sanal Kumar, who was an electrician from Kodungavilla area in Neyyattikara died on Monday night after he was hit by an approaching car during an altercation with DySp B Harikumar. Witnesses say that Harikumar pushed Sanal onto the road, after which the car hit him. The DySP is currently absconding.
The incident took place around 9:45 pm on Monday, when both Sanal Kumar and DySP Harikumar was engaged in a verbal spat over their parked cars. “The DySP couldn’t move his vehicle as the man’s car was parked in front of him. He kicked the car and threw away the key, that's when the argument got heated up” an officer from the Neyyattinkara police station told TNM on Tuesday.
According to witnesses, Sanal Kumar, whose head was bleeding heavily was taken to the Neyyatinkara police station first and nor to a hospital. Later, he was taken to the Trivandrum Medical College on Monday, where he succumbed to injuries. Responding to this, Nedumangad ASP Sujith Das said, “We haven’t started to investigate that part yet. As of now, our main area of focus is to find Harikumar, who is absconding.”
Prayers for Sanal continued even on Wednesday inside his house and at the same time, a meeting was held outside the house. The meeting consisted of Sanal’s neighbours, friends, few members of his family, members of the Kodungavilla resident’s association, representatives of the youth wings of various political parties and others who knew Sanal.
The meeting of the council outside Sanal's house.
The objective of the meeting - to get justice for Sanal’s family. During the meeting, a council named, “Sanal Kumar Action Council” was formed and the course of action for the fight for justice was discussed.
Speaking to the media following the meeting, Vishnupuram Chandrasekharan, State President of Kerala Kamaraj Congress and one of the convenors of the meeting said that the Council has come up with three main objectives.
“The first objective is to make sure that Viji, Sanal’s wife is given a job, as Sanal was the breadwinner of the family. The second is to request the state Government to pay a compensation of Rs 50 lakhs to Sanal’s family. And the third objective is to make sure that DySP Harikumar is arrested,” said Vishnupuram.
The meeting was attended by the local committee representatives of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Congress and the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI), all of whom had pledged their support to get justice for Sanal’s family. The members gathered at the meeting were visibly angry at the turn of events and resolved to pressurise the police department into taking action against Harikumar.
The restaurant where Sanal was having food when the DySP asked him to move his car.
“We have all gathered here today to share the grief and also to give our support to Sanal’s family,” Vishnupuram said during the council discussion. “We will work together in this fight for justice keeping aside all political differences,” he added.
Friends and family of Sanal Kumar, who was present at his house on Wednesday criticised the police's inaction. "The police department will do everything possible to protect the DySP, who is accused of murder,” said Soumya, a childhood friend and neighbour of Sanal. This statement found support from several others at the meeting.
Meanwhile, Ani, the Secretary of the Kodungavila Resident’s Association, speaking to TNM said, “It has been two days since Sanal died and the police have said that a case has been filed. But not a single police official has come to this (Sanal Kumar) house or taken any statement from anyone here.”