KOCHI: The Special Investigation Team, probing the custodial death of Sreejith, on Friday arrested Varapuzha SI G S Deepak. The arrest was recorded after he was subjected to an hours-long interrogation at Aluva Police Club.
The higher level officer has been arrested two days after three civil police officers were arrested in connection with the incident which triggered a controversy in the state. The SI, who is now under suspension, has been charged under the same Sections as the other three - IPC 302 (attempt to murder) and IPC 342 (wrongful confinement) - and is named fourth accused in the case.
The three arrested Rural Tiger Force (RTF) officers were Jithin Raj, Santosh Kumar and Sumesh. According to SIT officers, Deepak will be produced before the North Paravur Judicial First Class Magistrate Court on Saturday.
Officers said the SI appeared before the team headed by IG S Sreejith at 10.30 pm after he was summoned by the SIT, which received vital clues regarding his involvement in the custodial torture.
Sreejith was allegedly beaten up by the three RTF office, even as they took him to the police jeep from his residence on 10.30 pm. When Sreejith was brought to Varapuzha police station, his physical condition was already very weak due to this alleged manhandling, according to the sources.
The allegation was that Deepak who arrived at the station by 2 am manhandled him in custody. Besides, he did not allow Sreejith's mother to give him water when Sreejith pleaded for drinking water.
According to sources, other higher level officers will also face the heat of investigation. The sources with the investigation team maintained the SIT would summon Rural SP A V George and suspended North Paravur CI Crispin Sam later.
The medical board which met in Kochi on Thursday has accepted the findings of the postmortem report of Sreejith. As per the report, the cause of death was due to blunt trauma sustained to the abdomen and resulting complications. The medical board will submit a detailed report to the IG later.
Sreejith's mother told reporters on Friday that she would begin a stir demanding the arrest of Deepak in front of his residence if the SIT does not arrest him.
Meanwhile, the North Paravur Judicial First Class Magistrate Court has adjourned the bail plea moved by the three officers to Saturday. Earlier, the cops were remanded to judicial custody.