The Left Democratic Front (LDF) government under Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan came to power in May 2016 in Kerala. As the government is inching towards completing two years in office, it has finally woken up to a young man protesting outside the state secretariat in the capital city demanding justice.
While Thiruvananthapuram native Sreejith’s one-man protest since the past 767 days went unnoticed by the ruling government (and even the Opposition parties, to be fair), the massive uproar it has now created has forced the government to sit up and take notice.
On Monday, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan is set to meet Sreejith, who has been protesting the inaction against the police officials responsible for his younger brother Sreejeev’s death in police custody.
This comes only a day after a massive unorganised protest rally that was carried out in Thiruvananthapuram, after an active online campaign began in support of Sreejith a few days ago.
Speaking to TNM from the protest venue, Sreejith’s mother Ramani had earlier said that she met with Governor P Sathasivam on Monday morning and urged him to intervene.
“He told me that he came to know about my son’s protest through TV channels and that he was upset about what has happened. The Governor told me to ask my son to end the protest and go back home, assuring us that we will get justice. He has asked me to meet him again on Wednesday, and hand over all the documents we have regarding the case,” Ramani had said, adding that she didn’t want to lose another son.
Congress Member of Parliament (MP) from Thiruvananthapuram Shashi Tharoor, along with AICC General Secretary KC Venugopal, met with the Union Minister of State (Ind Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region Jitendra Singh to press for a CBI inquiry into Sreejeev’s death.
The CBI had recently refused to take up the case, citing that it was not a rare case that warranted an inquiry by the central agency.
After meeting Minister Jitendra, Shashi Tharoor also met Union Minister Rajnath Singh.
Saying that he had received assurance from the Union Ministers for a CBI inquiry into the case, Shashi Tharoor said in a tweet that he spoke with Sreejith over the phone to convey the news. The Congress MP also urged Sreejith to call off the protest.
Had a very constructive meeting w/ @drjitendrasingh on the imperative need for a CBI inquiry into the custodial death of Sreejith's brother. We then met together with @rajnathsingh ji who agreed that custodial deaths should always be inquired into. Expecting official OK today pic.twitter.com/eBBXsU5Mpc— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) January 15, 2018
Currently, Sreejith and several of his supporters are on a relay fast.