KOCHI: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Special Crime Branch, Thiruvananthapuram has arrested a police Sub-Inspector in the Nedumkandam custodial torture case where a private financier died following custodial torture at Nedumkandam police station, Idukki, in June last year.
Sabu K A, 46, a native of Perumpilly near Njarakkal in Ernakulam, who has been identified as the first accused in the case, was arrested after being summoned for interrogation at the CBI office in Kochi.
Sabu who is currently in suspension served as Sub-Inspector of Nedumkandam police station when the deceased Rajkumar, 53, a native of Wagamon was taken into custody as part of a case registered under Kerala Money Lenders Act in June last year. As station house officer was on leave, Sabu was claimed to be the in-charge of the police station.
Earlier, the Crime Branch had arrested him in the case and he was released after granted bail by Kerala High Court. Apart from Sabu, six other police officials of Nedumgandam police station are accused in the case. "We summoned him to appear as part of the investigation on Sunday. At around 9.30 pm, his arrest was recorded. Later, he was produced before Ernakulam Chief Judicial Magistrate Court on Monday. Following a petition, he was granted in CBI custody for six days from Monday 4 pm to Saturday 4 pm," an officer said.
The CBI arrest followed an order by Supreme Court. "The Kerala government had challenged Kerala High Court decision to allow him bail at Supreme Court. In December, before CBI took over the
probe, the Supreme Court cancelled his bail and ordered to arrest him. As per the Supreme Court order, he was arrested. We sought his custody as part of further investigation," the officer said.
On June 12, 2019, Rajkumar was taken into custody in a money lending case registered against him. He was kept in illegal custody till June 15 before his arrest was recorded. After remanded to Peerumade Sub Jail, he died at a hospital on June 21. The initial autopsy stated that death occurred due to Pneumonia. However, a re-autopsy carried out in August 2019 revealed 22 injuries. A commission led by Justice K Narayana Kurup is also conducting an inquiry into the incident.
"The custody of Sabu is necessary to recover articles used by the accused persons torture the deceased. We have to take him to Nedumgandgam as a part of the procedure," CBI submitted at Ernakulam Chief Judicial Magistrate Court.
The counsel who appeared for Sabu did not oppose the CBI plea and his arrest. However, the counsel submitted that re-autopsy conducted in August 2019 was done without following the norms. The counsel claimed that re-autopsy was carried out only on the directive of a judicial commission.