Thousands of people online and offline are expressing solidarity with a Kerala youth named Sreejith, who has been on a protest outside the Secretariat in Thiruvananthapuram for the past 766 days. Sreejith has been protesting inaction against police officials allegedly responsible for his brother's death in police custody.
As the government's apathy is being exposed with Sreejith's protest, the former Chairman of Police Complaints Authority has broken his silence on the matter.
Speaking to media on Sunday, Justice Narayana Kurup said that Sreejith's younger brother Sreejeev had indeed died of custodial torture. Kurup served as the Chairman of the authority from 2014 to May 2017. He added that the police officials involved in Sreejeev's death even tampered with evidence to cover up the death and make it look like a suicide.
Narayana Kurup's statements came on a day when thousands rallied in front of the Secretariat, demanding that Sreejith's prolonged battle for justice be noticed by the government. Politicians and especially member of the Legislative Assembly have ignored the young man who has been protesting right under their noses.
Sreejeev, Sreejith's younger brother, was picked up by the Parassala police in May 2014 on allegations of theft. Days after this, he breathed his last at a hospital. While the police claimed that Sreejeev had consumed poison, Sreejith alleges that the police murdered his brother. According to Sreejith, his brother had been in a relationship with a woman, who happened to be a relative of a policeman and he believes that was the reason why his brother was picked up by the police.
Two years later in 2016, the Police Complaints Authority found the police version to be false and came to the conclusion that Sreejeev had indeed died of custodial torture. The probe found that Circle Inspector Gopakumar and ASI Philipose thrashed Sreejeev and made him drink poison. The Police Complaints Authority also said that these policemen had the support of two civil officers.
Years after the Police Complaints Authority issued the order to take further action against the police officials responsible for Sreejeev's death, the former Chairman has spoken publicly about the authority's findings.