THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The five policemen and a home guard, who were involved in the Nedumkandam custodial death, will be dismissed from service, the government has informed the Assembly.
Sub-inspector Sabu, Additional Sub-inspector Roy, driver Niyas, Civil Police Officers Jithin and Rejimon and home guard James will be dismissed. The six will also be prosecuted, the government informed the house.
The action was taken on the basis of a report filed by inquiry commissioner Justice K Narayana Kurup. The inquiry commissioner had found that Rajkumar, a 49-year-old accused of chit fund fraud, died due to ‘complications arising out of multiple blunt injuries characteristic of physical torture’.
The jurist had earlier submitted the 160-page report to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan with a special request to implement the proposed reforms contained in it at the earliest so that such incidents do not recur. The report gives a chilling account of how Rajkumar was subjected to third-degree punishment to get him to reveal where he had stashed away the depositors’ money. According to the report, the internal organs of Rajkumar suffered irreversible damage due to the horrendous torture he was subjected to for 72 hours.
“He was lying on the floor and the officers pounded him. They slapped, kicked and spreadeagled him. This was done just to make him disclose details of the money he supposedly had with him,” Kurup had earlier told The New Indian Express.
The jurist had said that due to severe beating, myoglobin from the contusions piled up in Rajkumar’s kidney, which resulted in them ceasing to function. Due to the fluid collection, there was pulmonary oedema and the lungs collapsed. Then the heart and multiple organs failed. “The torture was so severe that Rajkumar put on an extra 8kg in five days,” Kurup had revealed after submitting the report to the CM.
The report said the first autopsy was botched which attributed pneumonia as cause for the death. “I had an intuition that it was not pneumonia.” said Kurup, who then formed a three-member panel of forensic experts and conducted a re-postmortem. “From exhumation of the body to autopsy, I closely followed the entire exercise. I wanted to have a ringside view,” he said. The efforts paid off as 21 contusions that were missing in the first autopsy report were spotted during the second exercise.