KOCHI: A Special Investigation Team probing the alleged custodial death of a 26-year-old man at nearby Varappuzha today arrested three policemen, who were suspended earlier, in connection with the incident.
"Three policemen, including Jithinraj, Sumesh and Santhosh have been arrested in connection with the incident. They were members of the Rural Tiger Force of Ernakulam rural police", Special Investigation Team (SIT) chief IGP S Sreejith said.
He said their arrest was recorded after collecting necessary evidence in the primary investigation.
"They have been charged under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code" (punishment for murder), he told reporters outside Aluva Police Club.
Earlier, the policemen were questioned in the club.
Assuring justice for Sreejith's family, the SIT chief said the probe would be conducted against those found involved in his death.
The arrested policemen will be produced before the Court tomorrow.
The SIT IGP indicated that further action would be taken based on the report five-member medical board to ascertain the real cause of Sreejith's death.
The Kerala government had set up the medical board to ascertain the real cause of the death after alleged police torture while in custody.
Official sources said that the board was set up on a request by the SIT IGP, seeking expert opinion to determine the cause of the death.
Sreejith was taken into custody for the death of one Vasudevan early this month and died in a private hospital on April 9.
Seven policemen were suspended in connection with the incident.
Responding to the arrests, Sreejith's family alleged that more policemen were involved in the 'custodial torture' and demanded that they too be arrested.
They alleged he was kicked several times on the stomach and thrashed by police personnel.
The post-mortem report has said that Sreejith died of 'blunt trauma' in the abdomen and there were multiple injuries on his body.
Meanwhile, the SIT is also probing whether Sreejith was arrested by mistake in connection with Vasudevan's death.
Vasudevan's son Vineesh had alleged police had mistaken the deceased for another Sreejith, whom he had named in his complaint lodged in connection with his father's death.
Opposition Congress has sought a court-monitored probe into the incident.
Both Congress and BJP have demanded that Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan give up the Home portfolio.