Custodial death: SIT arrests three policemen

A Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the alleged custodial death of a 26-year-old man in Varappuzha in Ernakulam district arrested three members of Rural Tiger Force (RTF), a specially constituted crime-buster police squad, late on Wednesday.

The deceased, S R Sreejith, was among 10 people detained on April 6 in connection with the suicide of Vasudevan, a native of Varappuzha. His family alleged that he was subjected to custodial torture, causing serious injuries to his internal organs. Police shifted Sreejith to a private hospital where he died. It has since been confirmed that he was detained on the basis of a false lead provided by Ganesh, brother of Vasudevan.

RTF personnel Jitinraj, Santosh and Sumesh were arrested in connection with the death, which has set off outrage over police atrocities in the state. SIT head and IG S Sreejith told reporters that the arrests were made following a preliminary investigation. “A medical board has also been constituted as part of the probe. Follow-up action will now be initiated based on the board’s findings,” he said.

Officers suspended

Last week, four police officials were suspended pending inquiry in connection with the death. North Paravoor Circle Inspector Crispin Sam, Varappuzha Sub-Inspector G S Deepak, ASI Sudheer and civil police officer Santosh Baby were suspended after a preliminary probe by the SIT.

The body of Vasudevan was found hanging at his home after a group of men entered his house and assaulted members of his family. Reports said members of Vasudevan’s family had earlier clashed with some of the residents of the area.

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