In a move that has triggered outrage from several quarters, police on Wednesday arrested and forcefully removed the family of Jishnu Pranoy – the Nehru College student who was found dead in his hostel room on January 6 – from Thiruvananthapuram.
The family, including Jishnu's mother Mahija, were attempting to protest outside the DGP office for the delay in the probe into the case.
Mahija has been shifted to a hospital after she complained that she had sustained injuries in the police brutality.
Reacting to the force used by police on the family, KK Rema, Revolutionary Marxist Party (RMP) state committee member and wife of slain leader TP Chandrasekharan, said that the police action was condemnable.
"One cannot in any way justify this. It was no doubt a cruel act by the police. That mother was there to peacefully protest and get justice for her son. For three months she has been suffering and what has the police done? Used force to remove her and drag her on the road. We as a society must come together against this police brutality," she told The News Minute.
Speaking to reporters, Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala hit out at the government alleging that the latter was supporting the accused in the case.
"At every stage in this case, the plot has only thickened," he said. "The government is hand in gloves with the accused. The CM did not even bother to visit Jishnu's parents at their house. The parents later met the CM at his office, but still there has been no improvement. The government's stand in this case is incorrect and cannot be justified."
Former Kerala CM Oommen Chandy called the government's approach wrong and said that the family had come to Thiruvanathapuram since the state had failed to convince them that they were empathetic towards them and that they could help.
Calling the police action a "mistake", veteran Congress leader VM Sudheeran sought appropriate action against the cops if required.
"How brutally did they behave with a mother who had come asking for justice for her deceased son. This act will taint the police forever. We strongly condemn this incident and want appropriate action against police if necessary," he said.
Padmaja Venugopal, General Secretary of the Executive Committee of KPCC, demanded an answer from the CM himself. "It was painful that a mother who was seeking justice for her son was brutally tortured. The Chief Minister should respond to this atrocity," she said.
Condemning the act, Jaick C Thomas, SFI state president, said that while he had not seen the visuals of the police misbehaving with Jishnu's parents, it should be looked into if it were true.
However, speaking in support of the LDF government, Jaick said that it had been supportive till now to the parents.
"The government was working on a procedure to confiscate the assets of the absconding accused in the case. Earlier the police had arrested Krishnadas in another case and on Tuesday they arrested him again in the Jishnu Pranoy case," he stated.