On July 3, 47-year-old Mohanan ran out of his house in Mulankunnathukavu in Thrissur district to escape his neighbour. His body was later found at Mulankunnathukavu railway track, less than a kilometre from his house n Kozhikkunnu.
A week later, Mohanan’s family alleges that their neighbour Sudheeran, reputed to be a goon facing criminal cases, was responsible for his death and allege that the police officials are trying to write off the case as suicide.
“He would not have committed suicide, Sudheeran and his son chased him out of the neighbourhood and did not return. His wife and daughter also left the house the next day,” says Simi (26), Mohanan’s wife.
On July 3, due to tensions that had been building up for a few months, Mohanan threw a stone at Sudheeran when the latter passed by his house. A few minutes later, Sudheeran, his two children and wife barged into their compound with sticks. Sudheeran threatened to kill Mohanan if he stepped out of the house. Mohanan and his family spent about two hours in the house, while Sudheeran and his family stood outside.
“When they went to have lunch, the kids and I convinced Mohanan to spend a few days away from home. He left through the back door, but Sudheeran and his son chased him on their motorbike,” Simi says.
The Medical College police have registered a case based on Mohanan’s brother Balakrishnan’s statement that he was run over by a train. But Simi suspects foul play alleging that Mohanan’s death was the culmination of harassment that began in May.
The families were once close as both men worked as security guards at Aswini Hospital in Thirssur for the past eight months. But Mohanan’s refusal to go on a holiday with Sudheeran's family changed things. Since then, Sudheeran would insult and abuse Mohanan, ridicule him at work for being poor. Sudheeran also allegedly beat up Mohanan on several occasions, Simi alleges.
Simi alleges that the police are deliberately shielding Sudheeran. Vinosh, a close relative, said that on Monday, the police had refused to register a complaint against Sudheeran. The next day, the police refused to record statements from eyewitnesses who had seen the fight between Mohanan and Sudheeran.
“Somebody told us that he had seen Sudheeran, his son and two other people shouting at my husband to jump before the train. The police refused to hear him out, saying that they would come back later,” Simi alleges.
A day later, the police did come back, but informed Simi that they had made changes to her statements on Sudheeran's involvement in the death. “They didn’t let me read the statement, they only read out the portions that they claimed they had made changes to. Instead of my statement that we suspect Sudheeran's involvement, they wrote instead that my husband would have not committed suicide if not for the fight with Sudheeran that morning. They told us that the new statement would make the case stronger and took my signature,” Simi says.
On Monday, Mohanan’s family approached the SC/ST development officer to intervene and ensure proper investigation.
In Mohanan’s house, there is an atmosphere of despair. Mohanan was the sole earning member of the family. His mother 80-year-old mother Ammini is worried. "What will happen to these two little girls now? Simi has no job, how will they live...they need to go to school..."