With the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) finally agreeing to take up probe into the alleged custodial death of Sreejeev. Sreejith's battle for justice to his brother is expected to see the day of light sooner.
The CBI decision comes a week after support was mobilised through social media for a sit-in agitation by the victim's elder brother, Sreejith, near the State Secretariat. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's private secretary and senior CPM leader M V Jayarajan handed over to Sreejith a copy of the draft notification regarding the CBI investigation. Sreejith said he would continue the stir (which reached its 770th day on Friday) till the agency formally commences the probe.
Sreejeev, a native of Neyyattinkara in Thiruvananthapuram, was arrested by Parassala police on May 19, 2014 in connection with a case of mobile phone theft. He died two days later. While the police claimed that he consumed poison he had attached to his underwear, Sreejeev's family alleged that he was tortured at the behest of a police official related to a girl Sreejeev was in a relationship with. The State Police Complaints Authority (SPCA) confirmed custodial torture and said Sreejeev was forced to consume poison. The five police officials named by SPCA obtained from the High Court a stay on a probe against them. The government has handed over Rs 10 lakh as compensation to Sreejeev's family, as directed by the SPCA.
"I never said I would end the agitation after the notification is out. I'll wait for the investigation to begin. The government could have obtained this notification earlier," Sreejith told reporters. Even as support poured in for Sreejith after a social media campaign titled #JusticeForSreejith, police circles have raised counter-arguments pointing to the inquest and autopsy reports which did not establish torture. Sreejeev's death happened when the previous Congress-led government was in office.