Joining the chorus of voices condemning the brutal assault of a 30-year-old Adivasi man in Kerala, Madhu, who was accused of stealing rice and other provisions, are actors Manju Warrier, Tovino Thomas and Jayasurya.
Madhu was allegedly beaten up by a mob, which then handed him over to the police. In fact, one of the men even took a selfie, which shows an emaciated, tied-up Madhu being questioned by the mob. Madhu died when he was being taken to the police station.
The incident sparked widespread anger in Kerala, with several notable people coming forward to register their protest.
Manju Warrier took to Facebook on Friday, saying that such a merciless act was never expected from a state like Kerala.
“A man who spent all his life in the forests of Attapadi, minding his own business, toiling day and night to make ends meet. If I were to describe Madhu in a line, this would be it. He had come to the city when he was left with nothing to eat back at home. And he had to pay for his hunger with his life,” read her post.
“This incident has brought out the demons among us, who have turned an unkind face to the hungry, the poor and the oppressed. There was a time when one could strongly believe, without a second thought, that Kerala is not the place for such heinous crimes,” she added.
The actor also said that she hoped that justice would be delivered to Madhu after his death.
“I strongly condemn the murder of Madhu and I hope we can deliver justice to him after his death at least,” added Manju’s post.
Actor Jayasurya expressed his grief over the incident saying that it was hunger and poverty that distanced Madhu from the privileged.
“I am ashamed that my land has joined the world which choses to kill the hungry rather than killing hunger. I urge authorities to take stringent action against the accused,” he said.
Madhu was mobbed by around 15 men on Thursday, who accused him of stealing rice and other provisions from a grocery shop. They tied him up and allegedly beat him up, before handing him over to the police.
Madhu collapsed and died in the police jeep while being taken to the Government Specialty Hospital in Kottathara.
The police filed a suo moto case and started investigating the incident. Following the preliminary investigation, the Agali Police arrested two people and detained five others.