Two more policemen were arrested on Monday in connection with the alleged custodial death of a prisoner in June in Kerala’s Idukki district, PTI reported. With the latest arrests, a total of four police officials have been taken into custody in the case.
The Crime Branch arrested Assistant Sub Inspector Rejimon and civil police officer and driver Niyas after questioning them for almost eight hours. Earlier this month, the Crime Branch had charged Sub-Inspector KA Sabu and civil police officer Sajeev Antony with illegal detention and custodial torture.
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.
Four police personnel – Sabu, an assistant sub-inspector and two drivers – were suspended following the incident and eight were transferred.
The Opposition Congress-led United Democratic Front had raised the case in the state Assembly multiple times, and demanded a judicial inquiry. On Friday, the Kerala government, in a decision presided by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan ordered a judicial investigation into the alleged custodial death, PTI reported.
On July 3, Vijayan had said that 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,” he had told the state Assembly. “Such people will no longer be there in the state police service.”