The Kerala Crime Branch arrested two police personnel on Wednesday in connection with the alleged custodial torture and death of a prisoner in June, reported PTI. Investigators said more arrests were likely to be made, according to The Hindu.
The Crime Branch charged Sub-Inspector KA Sabu and civil police officer Sajeev Antony with illegal detention and custodial torture. Four police personnel – Sabu, an assistant sub-inspector and two drivers – were suspended following the incident and eight were transferred. Soon after his arrest, Sabu became unconscious and was shifted to Kottayam Medical College Hospital.
Personnel at Nedumkandam Police Station allegedly tortured 49-year-old Rajkumar, who was taken into custody in connection with a financial fraud case on June 12, for four days. He died at the Peermedu sub-jail on June 21. Rajkumar’s body had 22 injuries, and he died of an infection caused by severe physical trauma, said forensic doctors.
After the incident came to light, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the government would not protect the policemen involved in the incident. “No one has the right to keep any person in custody illegally or beat them to death,” Vijayan told the state Assembly. “Such people will no longer be there in the state police service.”
The Left Democratic Front government has been under fire from the Opposition over the incident. The Congress-led United Democratic Front has repeatedly raised the matter in the state Assembly, and demanded a judicial investigation.