KOCHI: As the Special Investigation Team (SIT) begins to piece together the incidents leading to the custodial death of Sreejith, pressure seems to be mounting on Ernakulam Rural SP A V George who has drawn flak from the lower rungs of the state police over setting up the now disbanded Rural Tiger Force(RTF) directly under his watch.
The statements given by the three arrested RTF members they had acted at the behest of superior officers and were now being made scapegoats have added fuel to already raging fire. SP George had set up the RTF on the lines of the City Task Force of Kochi City police to tackle the anti-social elements. The members of the disbanded RTF were under George's direct control.
The SP had given a statement he sent the RTF team to assist the local police in Varapuzha following the suicide of Vasudevan of Devaswompadam. According to it, he had not directed them to take any person into custody nor were they asked to go there in civvies.
IG S Sreejith, SIT chief, had recorded the statements of the police officers including George. Officers said the Rural SP had alerted the North Paravur CI and other police personnel about the need to remain on high alert in Varapuzha to prevent any further flare-up. It emerged Circle Inspector Crispin Sam too had issued directions to the RTF members who descended on the scene following the SP's direction.
However, police sources said the SIT did not take the Rural SP's claims at their face value. Instead, the investigators have been collecting details from the witnesses and other police personnel.