Saturday marks 33 days since the passing away of Sanal Kumar, the 32-year-old from Neyyatinkkara who was pushed to death by the area DySP, B Harikumar, following a verbal spat. On Monday, Sanal's wife Viji and her two children will start an indefinite strike as the government has failed to provide any monetary compensation to the aggrieved family.
"We haven't received any of the promised money from the government until now. Not even the basic Rs 10,000 that they are supposed to give us," Viji tells TNM.
Sanal Kumar's death in November had become headlines in Kerala as the main accused in the incident was the Deputy Superintendent of Neyyatinkara. Following Sanal's death, DySP - B Harikumar - was absconding for a week along with his close aid Binu, who allegedly helped him escape after the incident. Protests in delayed action by the police lead to the case being transferred to the Crime Branch, with Inspector General of Police Sreejith S taking over investigations.
On November 13, a week after he went absconding, Harikumar was found dead in his house in Kallambalam near Varkala, with further probe confirming that he had killed himself. Following the DySP's death, the police nabbed Binu and Ramesh, and a driver named Satish, in whose lodge the duo stayed after they escaped on the night of November 5.
Sanal was the sole breadwinner of the family and his death has left them broken, says Viji. "We were promised monetary compensation, but we have got it. Right now we have no money and we have a mounting loan of Rs 25 lakhs to pay. We are fully dependent on our relatives now, to the extent where I have to ask them money to buy even a book or a pencil for my children," the 26-year old mother of two adds.
Following Sanal's death on November 5, several political leaders from the local MLA to Ministers KK Shailaja and Kadakkampally Surendran and chief of Congress (S) Kadanapally Ramachandran had visited the family. All of them had promised financial compensation, Viji says.
"All of them had promised to provide us financial compensation but nothing has come so far. I have passed my 12th grade and was promised a suitable government job. I am yet to hear about that as well ," she says.
Sanal's family and the action council formed by local residents to seek justice for him have been constantly meeting authorities to request for compensation. But to no avail.
"On November 28, my family, children and the local leaders waited in front of the secretariat for a whole day before we could meet the CM. He had accepted our petition and said that he would help in whatever way possible. Prior to this, my family had visited the CM right after Sanal's death to request for help. But no support has been extended so far," she says.
On Friday, Sanal's family and the action committee had met and decided to begin an indefinite hunger strike to get the government's attention. Sanal's wife, children and mother along with Viji's father and members of the action council will sit in front of the secretariat in Thiruvananthapuram from 9 am to 5 pm everyday to get justice.
"This is my last resort. I am pleading to the government to help me," Viji says.