The Crime Branch of Kerala police is probing the suicide of 19-year-old Vinayak, and whether he was tortured in police custody before he decided to take kill himself. Now, the police in Pavaratty in Thrissur have come up with a new explanation for the assault marks on his body: It wasn’t us, the police have said, and pointed a finger at Vinayak’s father instead.
On July 17, the Pavaratty police had picked up Vinayak, along with his friend Sarath, while they were speaking to Vinayak’s girlfriend. While the police claimed that the young men were picked up because their bike did not have valid papers, Sarath says that the police accused them of chain-snatching. Apparently, the police official was suspicious because Vinayak had long hair, with an unconventional hairstyle. On the evening of July 17, Vinayak was allowed to leave the station with his father.
Vinayak killed himself on July 18, just a day after he was released from police custody. His family had alleged that he took the step after he was tortured in custody in a false case.
“When the police took us to the station, they first slapped us. Then, they hit him on his back. They also pinched his chest and nipples and kicked his legs with their boots on. They claimed we had snatched someone’s chain. They pulled his hair. They hit his private parts,” Sarath had told media on July 18.
But the policemen at Pavaratty police station who were on duty while Vinayak was arrested, said in writing that they have not tortured him.
They further said that since they had complained about his behaviour to his father Krishnankutty, it was possible that he might have assaulted Vinayak at home.
The post mortem report has confirmed that the Dalit youngster sustained serious injuries before he died.