With this, all seven police officers attached to Nedumkandam police station in Idukki have been arrested for the custodial torture and death of 49-year-old Rajkumar.

Rajkumar custodial death Kerala Crime Branch arrests 3 more cops accused in case
news Custodial death Thursday, July 25, 2019 - 10:06

The Crime Branch in Kerala, on Wednesday, arrested three more police officers who have been accused in the custodial torture and death of 49-year-old Rajkumar. With this, after almost a month of Rajkumar’s death, the special team from the Crime Branch has finally arrested all accused in the case. 

The special team, on Wednesday, arrested Nedumkandam former Assistant Sub Inspector Roy P Varghese, civil police officer Jithin K George and home guard James KM. Rajkumar died after he was allegedly subjected to brutal third-degree torture at the Nedumkandam police station in Idukki.

According to Crime Branch SP KM Sabu Mathew, seven police officials were responsible for the illegal custody and torture of Rajkumar from June 12 to June 16. The arrested cops are directly involved in the crime, crime branch officials told TNM.

Rajkumar, a small-time financial dealer, was taken into custody by the Nedumkandam police on June 12 in a financial fraud case. He was held at the station in Idukki until his arrest was recorded on June 15. After producing him before the Magisterial court on June 16, he was taken to Peeramade sub-jail in the wee hours of June 17. Since he was physically weak, so much that he could not walk properly and had difficulty in breathing, he was admitted to hospital, but eventually died on June 21.  

The autopsy report submitted by the Kottayam Medical College had revealed that Rajkumar sustained 22 wounds, including fractures. Following this, the state government formed a Crime Branch special team to probe Rajkumar’s death. 

Read: 22 injuries, 'Falanga' torture used: Shocking autopsy of Kerala custodial death victim

Two weeks ago, the special team arrested four police officials. Former Nedumkandam Sub-Inspector KA Sabu and CPO Sajeev Antony were arrested on July 4, while Assistant SI CB Rejimon and CPO Niyas were arrested on July 9. 

The crime branch officials on Wednesday said they arrested all police officials in connection with the custodial death of Rajkumar.

The state government had also announced a judicial probe. Justice K Narayana Kurup-led Judicial Commission then visited Nedumkandam police station, Nedumkandam thaluk hospital, Peermade sub-jail and Peermade thaluk hospital (where Rajkumar died) and collected evidence. 

Last week, the Commission has decided to conduct re-postmortem of Rajkumar’s body as it found lapses in the existing postmortem report.

Meanwhile, the Thodupuzha district sessions court will pronounce the verdict of the bail application of the first accused KA Sabu and forth accused Sajeev Antony on Thursday. The hearing of the bail application was completed on Wednesday. 

Earlier, Sabu and Sajeev had submitted a bail application before the Peermade First Class Magistrate Court but was rejected.

Last week, the state government announced Rs 16 lakh compensation for Rajkumar’s family. The government also decided to give a government job to his wife, Vijaya.

 

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