Rajeev and Shibhu, both Kollam residents, claimed that they had been held for five days without charges, and tortured.

Two Kerala men allege torture in police custody probe orderedScreengrab/ Asianet News
news Allegations Sunday, October 23, 2016 - 13:11

Two Kerala men on Saturday alleged that they were brutally tortured in police custody for a period of five days. 

31-year-old Rajeev and 40-year-old Shibhu – both residents of Kollam district (and Dalits according to some news reports, though TNM was unable to confirm this) – told the media that they were subjected to third-degree torture by the police at two police stations in the city over the week.

The police have, however, denied the allegations of torture. City commissioner S Satheesh Bino has ordered an inquiry into the matter.

Speaking to reporters on Saturday, Rajeev alleged that he was picked up by the police on October 16 from a hotel where he works. He was not told what charges he was brought in for, but beaten by policemen, he claimed. His relative Shibhu was also brought to the police station, Rajeev added.

“The hit me on my arms, thrashed my face and back. We were in police custody for five days – two days in Anchalammodu station and three days in West station. There are no documents, no case was filed and we were not produced before the court either. They kept beating us,” Rajeev told journalists.

However, city commissioner S Satheesh Bino told The News Minute that Rajeev was taken into custody following a complaint from his former employer, alleging that a sum of Rs 1.5 lakh was stolen on September 28.

“After the money went missing, Rajeev and two other workers did not return to their employer, who then filed a theft case with the police. Two weeks later, Rajeev started working at a hotel, from where the police took him into custody on Sunday morning for questioning. He named Shibhu as having committed the crime, following which he was also taken into custody. Rajeev then named two others. Both Rajeev and Shibhu were let off the same day, but were asked to report to the station every morning,” the commissioner said.

The Commissioner not only dismissed the allegations of torture, but asserted that the youths were not kept in police custody for five days.

“They were taken into custody on Sunday morning and let off the same evening. For two days, they reported to the station. Two days later, they got themselves admitted to the hospital and spoke to media showing minor scratch injuries on their hands. Their allegations of torture have been found to be baseless, since the doctor’s report clearly states that there are no external injuries. Whereas they had alleged that they sustained injuries including in their private parts, following the torture,” he said.

With KPCC President VM Sudheeran demanding a high-level inquiry and the CPI (M) district committee demanding action against the concerned officers, the police claim that the allegations are politically motivated. 

Though media reports said that the duo is set to raise a complaint with the State Human Rights Commission, officials at the commission confirmed that a complaint in this regard had not reached them until Saturday evening. 

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