KOTTAYAM:A 40-year-old Dalit man who had suffered head injury reportedly at the hands of cops while in custody, died here on Saturday. Siby of Parakkal house, Marangattupilly, succumbed to the injuries after battling for life for nearly 12 days at the Government Medical College Hospital (MCH) here.
A headload worker, Siby was taken to custody by the Marangattupilly police on June 29 evening following a scuffle with one of his neighbours in an inebriated state. He was admitted to the MCH next day morning with a serious head injury.
Siby underwent an emergency surgery and was put on ventilator. However, his health deteriorated with each passing day and was declared dead by Saturday noon. According to sources, the cause of the death was deep head injury. His body will be handed over to the relatives after inquest and post-mortem. The inquest will be conducted on Sunday in the presence of higher officials of the government and the judiciary, including Revenue Divisional Officer (RDO) and the Judicial Magistrate, which is the normal procedure for a custodial death.
Meanwhile, Siby’s relatives alleged brutal custodial torture by the police, which led to his death. According to them, Siby was forced to lie down in the rain on the veranda of the station.
They added Siby was taken to custody around 7.30 pm and his health condition was perfect when they visited the station by 8 pm. Torture took place late in the night or in the wee hours of the following day, they added.
K A Georgekutty, the then Station House Officer at the Marangattupilly police station, has been suspended from service on the basis of a report submitted by Superintendent of Police M P Dinesh. According to the report, the SHO failed to follow the procedures during the arrest, including medical examination of the deceased. The Crime Branch (CB) will probe the alleged custodial death of a youth in Kottayam, said Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala in Kochi. “The government has taken the issue seriously, and has asked the Crime Branch to carry out an investigation into it,” he said after attending a function here on Saturday.