Lock-ups in Kerala have become 'killing fields:' Chennithala

Senior Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala today alleged that lock-ups in Kerala have become "killing fields" under CPI(M) rule and sought a judicial probe into the death of a 26-year-old man in police custody in Varappuzha near here.

Chennithala also alleged that Pinarayi Vijayan-led government was 'hesitant' to take action against the Sub-Inspector of Varappuzha police station despite widespread condemnation from various quarters against 'police brutality' towards Sreejith and his brother.

"Lock-ups in Kerala have become killing fields. Sreejith and his brother were subjected to brutal torture in police custody," Chennithala told reporters after meeting Sreejith's family in Varappuzha.

The Leader of Opposition in the Assembly said Sreejith is the sixth victim of custodial torture after the CPI(M)-led LDF came to power in the state.

All those policemen who were responsible for the death of Sreejith should be removed from service and should be tried for murder, Chennithala said.

Seeking a probe by a district judge into the incident, Chennithala criticised the silence of the Chief Minister on the matter.

Due procedures were not followed by the police for taking Sreejith and his brother into custody, he claimed.

Three policemen were suspended on Tuesday in connection with the death of Sreejith in police custody, while a Special Investigation Team (SIT) was formed to probe the case.

Sreejith, who was taken into custody in connection with the death of a person last week, died in a private hospital on Monday evening.

His relatives alleged that he died due to torture.

Police have rejected the allegation of torture, saying Sreejith was suspected to have suffered injuries during a clash allegedly before he was taken into custody.

DGP Loknath Behera has constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to investigate the case following allegations that police harassment and torture caused death of Sreejith.

BJP had observed a dawn-to-dusk hartal on Tuesday in Varappuzha Panchayat, protesting the death of Sreejith, who they claimed was a party worker.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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