Strict action will be taken against police officers resorting to third degree methods, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Wednesday, adding the police should have a human face.
Vijayan, who also holds the Home portfolio, has come under severe attack from several quarters and this worsened after a 26-year-old youth, Sreejith, died following custodial torture early this month at an Ernakulam police station.
"We have made it very clear how the police should behave. But, at the same time, it's a fact that in the force, there are people with various mentalities due to which certain things happen that should not... Tough action will be taken against such officials," said Vijayan.
He said that re-writing of police manuals was done by the first state government of EMS Namboodiripad in 1957, which came out with a rule that the police would be kept out of labour disputes.
"This policy-change rung in lots of changes in the state. But there is a section -- which had earlier been at the helm of affairs -- opposed to giving the police a human face, as they don't know that policing has undergone a sea change the world over," said Vijayan.
Earlier, referring to the custodial death of Varappuzha native Sreejith, the Kerala CM termed it as unfortunate on Tuesday.
"Action against the accused police personnel has been taken, action will be taken if more police personnel have a role in it. The investigation in the case has been effective," the CM said at a press conference in Thiruvananthapuram.
Vijayan added, “What happened at Varappuzha shouldn't have happened. The government doesn't have a stand of protecting the culprits. Strict direction is given to stop custodial torture.”
Meanwhile, Sreejith’s wife Akhila has filed a writ petition at the Kerala High Court, seeking a CBI probe.
Akhila stated in her plea that since the accused in the case are policemen, a probe by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) is unlikely to be unbiased.
(With IANS inputs)