THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The city police still smarting from the custodial death of a 42-year-old man at Thiruvallam station have once again found themselves in the dock after a 40-year-old autorickshaw driver was allegedly beaten brutally in a mistaken identity incident by the Fort police, resulting in a spinal fracture.
R Kumar, a resident of Ambalathara, was assaulted by the cops attached with the Fort police station on Monday evening after they mistook him for another person, who was a suspect in a theft case.
The family members of Kumar said he was picked up by the cops without revealing the charges against him. He was allegedly assaulted on the spot, in the police vehicle and at the station.
Deepu A S, a close relative of Kumar, said the cops tortured him brutally without revealing the allegations against him. The cops later came to know that they had picked up the wrong person and released Kumar after giving him Rs 500 for ayurvedic massage.
Deepu said the police were searching for an autorickshaw with the name ‘Shyama’ as its driver had allegedly committed a theft. During the probe, the cops came across Kumar’s auto which also had the same name. Mistaking him as the suspect, Kumar was taken into custody and beaten up, he said.
After he was released, Kumar complained of pain in his back and was hospitalised.
The relatives said Kumar has been advised complete bed rest and any escalation of his condition could result in paralysis below the waist.
Another close relative revealed that they are being pressured to withdraw the case, but they have decided to move ahead.
The Kerala Pulayar Maha Sabha members on Wednesday night held a protest outside the police station. Commissioner G Sparjan Kumar said the department will carry out a probe to verify the allegation against the cops.
“If there is any evidence, the case will be handed over to the district crime branch,” he said.
The Fort police station became infamous for custodial violence after the death of Udayakumar in 2005. Allegation of custodial torture once again sprang up after a Karimadom native, who was taken into custody, was found hanging in the bathroom in 2020.