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1-min read

Kerala Man's Autopsy Reveals Use of Brute Force By Police in Custody, CM Vijayan Assures Action

While the postmortem report said he had died of pneumonia, his family alleged police torture, citing injury marks in the report.

Neethu Reghukumar | CNN-News18

Updated:July 1, 2019, 11:15 PM IST
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Kerala Man's Autopsy Reveals Use of Brute Force By Police in Custody, CM Vijayan Assures Action
File photo of Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan.
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Thiruvananthapuram: Days after death of a finance agent, allegedly in police custody, chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said his government would not protect any erring policeman involved in persecuting people in lockups but would face tough action.

The 49-year-old finance agent, Rajkumar, was arrested by Nedumkandam police on June 12 after he had reportedly failed to repay loan. However, his arrest was recorded only on June 16. Rajkumar died on June 21 after he fell sick and was admitted to a hospital.

While the postmortem report said he had died of pneumonia, his family alleged police torture, citing injury marks in the report.

The report said there were 22 injury marks on his body and maximum injuries were on the lower part of the body. It also said that he had sustained multiple fractures on his ribs. The contusions on the soles of his feet hinted at the 'falanga' torture in which the victims feet are repeatedly hit.

Rajkumar’s wife, Vijaya, on Monday met CM Vijayan and demanded CBI probe.

Four police personnel, including a Sub Inspector, Assistant Sub Inspector and two drivers of Nedumkandam police station, had been suspended and eight others transferred in connection with the incident.

Rajkumar's death has triggered widespread criticism against the state police and the Home Department, headed by the Chief Minister.

"If any policeman is found guilty in the incident, they will not remain in the service anymore. The government will not protect anyone. There will not be any compromise in this.

"A comprehensive probe is on and we can come to a conclusion only after receiving the preliminary investigation report," Vijayan said.

Rejecting his reply, opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala said the CM's assurance was worthless and "like a torn sack".

The policemen accused in the alleged custodial death of a youth in Varapuzha last year were still in service, he said.

A senior police official allegedly involved in that incident was even given a promotion to the plum post of city police commissioner by the Chief Minister, Chennithala alleged.

"So you (Chief Minister) should order a judicial probe into the death of Rajkumar, if there is any sincerity in your words.

"If possible, a sitting judge should probe the case. How can police investigate a brutal crime allegedly done by their own men?" Chennithala asked.

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