Kerala: Protest erupts against alleged police torture

Protests erupted in Changanassery, in Kottayam district, late on Wednesday following the suicide of a young couple after alleged police harassment.

Sunilkumar, a goldsmith, and his wife Reshma were found in a critical condition at their rented home in Vakathanam after allegedly consuming poison. They were shifted to a hospital where they were reported dead.

The local police are alleged to have questioned the couple extensively in connection with a complaint registered over the loss of ornaments. They were let off after the questioning.

Sunil told his brother that he was physically tortured during the interrogation, one of his relatives told reporters. Even as families of the deceased raised allegations of police torture, the issue has taken a political turn.

Activists of the Congress-led opposition United Democratic Front and the BJP staged a protest near the Changanassery police station. The police have commenced a probe into the incident.

Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala charged that the police questioned the couple on the basis of a petition by a ward councillor of the ruling CPM.

“Police in the state has been completely politicised. The incident shows that even the chief minister has no control on the force,” Chennithala said.

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