An inquiry report by police looking into the complaint of custodial torture of two brothers in Kilikollur has absolved the police of wrong doing. The report by Kollam City Special Branch ACP Ashok Kumar stated that while the brothers were definitely assaulted, there was no evidence that it was police personnel who had assaulted them. As per the complaint, Vignesh and his brother Vishnu, a soldier, on August 25, were brutally assaulted by policemen in Kilikollur police station. The report submitted to the Kollam Police Commissioner on November 14, said that the injuries sustained by Vishnu and Vignesh were caused in the police station, but there was no evidence on who assaulted them there were no witnesses to corroborate the allegation of custodial torture.
While refusing to place the responsibility of the assault on the shoulders of the stationâ€™s police personnel, the report mainly focused on saying the police officers present in the station did not make any effort to settle the issue between the policemen and the brothers. The report also did not make any mention of the allegation that the brothers were kept in the police custody for 12 days after the assault.
â€śWhen Vishnu went inside the station, he removed his watch and kept it on the table. Then he engaged in a quarrel with Prakash Chandran (a policeman with whom Vishnu had exchanged words with, outside the station). He removed the watch with an intention to do something,â€ť the report said. It also said that the policeman sustained an injury in the fight. However, CCTV footage of the altercation shows the police striking one of the brothers, provoking a response from them. This was not mentioned in the report.
The report blamed the police officers for being ill-behaved and irresponsible and for not preventing a fight. Notably, the report conceded that the brothers had injuries on them, and the injuries had been inflicted in the station, the report failed to hold the policemen responsible for the assault and claimed no evidence could be found to prove the charges. The report did recommend necessary action against police officers Vinod K, Aneesh AP, Prakash Chandran, Dileep, Swathi and Manikantan Pillai.
According to Vignesh, he was called to the police station to give surety to three men who had been arrested in a drug case. When he refused to do so, he was abused by police officer Manikantan. Later, his brother Vishnu joined him in the station after he was involved in an altercation with another policeman Prakash Chandran outside the station over a minor traffic violation. According to the complainant, Prakash Chandran had assaulted Vishnu, an army man and his shirt pocket was torn. The tussle continued inside the station in which Prakash Chandran slapped Vishnu and he himself was also injured later. The brothers alleged that they were taken inside a cell and brutally assaulted by policemen. They were also threatened to remain silent about the assault when they were taken for a medical check-up. Though they did not tell the doctor about the assault fearing the consequences, they revealed it to another doctor later. Vishnu accused the police of stripping the brothers and beating them with iron rods. He had also said that his fingers were injured severely. The two brothers were reportedly kept in police custody for 12 days after the assault.