Fourth Kerala policeman arrested for custodial death

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Aluva (Kerala) April 20 (IANS) A Kerala Police sub inspector, alleged to have used force which led to the death of a youth in police custody, was arrested here on Friday, said a top police officer.

“G.S. Deepak has been arrested,” Inspector General of Police S. Sreejith told IANS.

Deepak was arrested after a police probe team called him for questioning earlier in the day. The victim’s mother said she was happy with the arrest.

Trouble started for Sreejith, 26, as 56-year-old Vasudevan hanged himself after a group of men barged into his house and threatened him.

A special squad took Sreejith, father of a two-year-old, and nine others into custody on April 7 and charged them with abetment to suicide and rioting. Subsequently, Sreejith was taken to a hospital where he died on April 9.

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The medical professional who first examined Sreejith, as part of the routine procedure before an arrest, told the media on Friday that the youth was fit when he was brought to him.

Also, Vasudevan’s son recently said that Sreejith’s arrest was a case of mistaken identity as it was some other Sreejith who had threatened his father.

The state government earlier suspended the circle inspector, sub inspector Deepak and two other policemen of the Varapuzha police station in the case. On Wednesday, three policemen who first took Sreejith into custody were arrested and remanded to judicial custody.

On Friday, state Congress President M.M. Hassan told the media in Kottayam that Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chenithala will undertake a 24-hour fast on Monday in Kochi to demand a Central Bureau of Investigation probe into the custodial death.

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The role of Ernakulam’s Superintendent of Police, Rural, A.V. George, is highly suspicious and the arrested policemen belong to his special squad, Hassan said.

“Hence the onus of responsibility is on George and he has to be immediately suspended from service.”

–IANS

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