The state govt’s move comes days after Sreejeev’s brother Sreejith met CM Pinarayi after his protest garnered widespread attention through social media.

 Sreejeev death Kerala govt backs findings of custodial torture favours CBI probe
news Protests Friday, January 19, 2018 - 09:00

After Sreejith’s protest seeking a CBI investigation into his brother’s alleged custodial death, earned far-reaching attention and support through social media, the state government was under tremendous pressure to act.

On Thursday, the Kerala government filed an affidavit in the high court backing the State Police Complaints Authority's findings that the death of Sreejeev, Sreejith’s brother, was due to custodial torture at the Parassala police station in 2014.

The government has also informed the High Court of its approval for a CBI investigation into the case. 

The affidavit filed through senior government pleader Suman Chakravarthy states, "This is the case where allegations have been raised against the members of Kerala Police Force. Hence the state government found it just and reasonable to transfer the investigation to Central Bureau of Investigation. The findings of the 3rd respondent (authority) are consistent with death due to custodial torture. Separate reasons are cited by the 3rd respondent (authority) for arriving at such a conclusion. Such a finding on fact cannot be interfered by this Honourable Court”, reports TOI.

The move came days after Sreejith met CM Pinarayi Vijayan following 770 days of protest, which continues to pull in massive crowds and media in front of the secretariat in Thiruvananthapuram.

Meanwhile, the Home department filed an affidavit saying that the court should not interfere with their findings which are based on facts. 

The government was responding to a petition filed by Parassala circle-inspector Gopakumar B for quashing the authority's report.

Sreejith’s brother Sreejeev was taken into custody by the Parassala police on allegations of theft. Days later, Sreejeev died in a hospital. While  police officials maintain that Sreejeev consumed alcohol, his family accused the officers of murder and cited custodial torture as the reason for his death.

In 2016, the Police Complaint Authority (PCA) in its investigation found the police officials guilty of thrashing and assaulting Sreejeev in custody. 

The report submitted by the PCA 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. 

In September 2016, the Kerala government asked the Director General of Police to hand over the probe to a Special Investigations Team (SIT). 

Meanwhile, Sreejith and his family were given aid of Rs 10 lakh by the government.

In November, Sreejith was informed of a CBI enquiry into the case from the Home department, but on January 2, the state government received a letter from CBI stating that this was not a case of 'rare and exceptional nature warranting an investigation by the CBI'.   

 

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