KOTTAYAM: An assistant sub-inspector (ASI) and a civil police officer (CPO) attached to the Manarcad police station have been suspended from service in connection with the death of youth inside the bathroom of the police station the other day. Kottayam District Police Chief Hari Sankar initiated action against ASI Prasad, who was on duty as the general diary (GD) charge and CPO Sebastian Varghese, who was the sentry on a fateful day.
The action was taken on the basis of the preliminary inquiry report submitted by Special Branch DySP Parthasarathi Pillai to the District Police Chief. The report also found supervisory lapse on the part of Station House Officer (SHO) and inspector K Shiji. The DPC has forwarded the report to Kochi Range IG Vijay Sakhare for taking action against Shaji.
According to Hari Sankar, a detailed departmental inquiry has been ordered against Prasad and Sebastian on the basis of the preliminary inquiry report. “It seems there was a serious lapse on the part of the GD in-charge and the sentry as they failed to ensure protection to the victim. The inspector at the Mundakkayam circle will lead the departmental inquiry and further punishment against the officers will be decided based on it,” he said.
U Navas, 27, of Edathara, Rajiv Gandhi Colony, in Areeparamb, was found hanging inside the visitor’s toilet at the station, on Tuesday morning. As per the DySP’s report, the ASI and the CPO failed to monitor the victim’s movement inside the station on Tuesday morning. All remaining officers attached to the station were attending a legal class, which was led by the SHO. Though Navas, went to the toilet by 9.12 am, the ASI and CPO, who were excluded from the class for leading the station duty, noticed his absence only after some time.
They carried out a search on the station premises after the class concluded by 10 am, but could trace the victim only after the SHO returned to the station at 10.30 pm after the break. After verifying the CCTV visuals, the SHO found that Navas had entered the toilet, where he was found hanging from the window bars.
Meanwhile, the post mortem examination conducted at the Government Medical College Hospital, Kottayam, found the death was due to hanging. Though some injury marks were on the victim’s body, those could have been inflicted during a clash with his family members prior to the arrest, the post mortem report said. Meanwhile, District Crime Records Bureau (DCRB) DySP A Prakashan is conducting an inquiry into the unnatural death of Navas.
SHRC seeks report
The State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) has taken a suo motu case in the incident. On the basis of media reports, SHRC chairman Antony Dominic directed the District Police Chief, Kottayam, to conduct a probe into the episode and submit a report within one month. The case will be considered during the Commission’s next sitting in Kottayam.