5 Kerala cops to be dismissed following custodial death probe


Five police officials found guilty in connection with a custodial death in Kerala’s Idukki in 2019, will be dismissed from service and legal proceedings will also be taken against them, as per recommendations of the Justice K. Narayana Kurup (retd) Commission, the Kerala Assembly was told on Tuesday.

The action taken report placed in the Assembly stated that those who will be dismissed from service are Sub-Inspector Sabu, ASI Roy, driver Niyaz, and two civil police officers, Jithin and Regimon. The sixth accused was Home Guard James.

The probe report also recommended punishment for three medical professionals.

It was also decided to give a compensation of Rs 45 lakh to the family of the deceased.

Rajkumar, 49, a small-time financial agent, died in custody on June 21, 2019 after allegedly being subjected to brutal third degree torture at the Nedumkandam police station in Idukki.

According to reports, Rajkumar was rounded up on June 12 by a group of people who he owed money to, and handed over to the Nedumkandam police. Police however, recorded his arrest on June 16 and later shifted him to the state-run Peerumedu Taluk Hospital, where he died on June 21.

Though the post-mortem mentioned pneumonia as the cause of death, the autopsy report revealed 22 injury marks on Rajkumar’s body, most below the thighs, indicating that he was subjected to third degree torture while in custody.

Following a huge opposition onslaught both inside and outside the Assembly, the state government, led by Pinarayi Vijayan, gave the nod for a judicial probe and seasoned judge Kurup began by exhuming the body to ascertain the actual cause of death and took statements from numerous people before he submitted his final report.