Three days after 32-year-old Sanal Kumar died after allegedly being pushed by Neyyattinkara Deputy Superintendent of Police (DySP) B Harikumar, the Kerala police is yet to nab the main accused, who is on the run.
Harikumar, who was later booked for murder, has been absconding, with speculation that he has left the state apprehending arrest. An official at the Neyyattinkara police station, who TNM spoke to, attempted to downplay the charges against Harikumar, arguing, “It is the car who hit Sanal because of which he died, why not book a case against the car driver?”
The investigation has reportedly been handed over to the Crime Branch from Nedumangad police. However, an official at the Crime Branch office said that details as to who will lead the investigations and other further details will only be decided on Thursday.
Following an altercation over their parked cars, DySP Harikumar allegedly pushed Sanal Kumar onto the road, where he was mowed down by an approaching car. The incident took place at Kodungavilla junction in Neyyattinkara on Monday night. Despite bleeding profusely, Sanal, an electrician by profession, was taken to Neyyatinkara police station first before later being to the Trivandrum Medical College, stated witnesses. However, the 32-year-old succumbed to his injuries.
Demanding quick action and the arrest of Harikumar, Sanal’s friends, family and other locals of Neyyattinkara are planning to organise a protest march on Friday from Sanal’s house to the DySP office.
On Wednesday, an Action Council was formed to fight for justice for Sanal. The council consists of local politicians from various parties, friends and family of Sanal Kumar, members of the Kodungavilla Residents Association, and his 26-year-old wife, Viji and his two sons.
Members of the Action Council say that not a single police officer had visited the house of Sanal to take their statement, even after three days.
“They say that they have booked a case but how can we be sure that they are investigating when even after three days, they haven’t taken any of our statements?”, asks Ani, Secretary of the Kodungavilla Residents Association and also a member of the Action Council.
“The people of this area know that the DySP is a powerful man and he knows all the tricks and how to get out of the case. And naturally, to catch a policeman, another group of police is going, so we know how this investigation will turn out. That is why we have formed an Action Council by ourselves,” Ani tells TNM.
Speaking to TNM, Vishnupuram Chandrasekharan, the State President of the Kerala Kamaraj Congress said that this is indeed a failure on the part of the Kerala police that they have not managed to arrest DySP Harikumar even after three days.
“Members of all political parties have come together and we will continue to put pressure on the police department until justice is won,” said Vishnupuram.
Sanal Kumar’s friends and family have little faith in the police, and allege that police department will do everything possible to protect the DySP.
Sreekantan Nair, the treasurer of the Action Council alleged that the police knew where the accused is. “I don’t want to refer to him as a DySP. He is an accused. The police who are meant to safeguard the public is protecting the accused,” he alleged.
Sreekantan Nair points to the day of the crime when Sanal was taken to the police station instead of the hospital. “This is clearly evident from the fact that when the accident happened and Sanal Kumar was bleeding, the SI and the Neyyattinkara police did not take quick measures to get him to the hospital, instead they waited at the spot for some time and later took him to the police station and not to the hospital,” he alleged.
Witnesses and people gathered at Sanal’s house had earlier said that if he was taken to the hospital a little earlier, his life could have been saved.
(With inputs from Sreedevi Jayarajan)