KOLLAM: In a new twist to the alleged custodial torture of a soldier and his brother inside the Kilikollur police station, Kollam city police commissioner Merin Joseph has given a clean chit to the station’s officials citing the absence of eyewitnesses.
Soldier M Vishnu and his brother M Vignesh were allegedly assaulted by the police officers on August 25.
While Joseph’s report submitted to the Kerala State Human Rights Commission (KSHRC) on November 9 confirmed that the brothers were assaulted inside the station, it said there were no eyewitnesses to prove the officers did it.
CCTV visuals from the station that had gone viral on social media showed a scuffle between a policeman and one of the brothers. The siblings had claimed that they were then taken to a torture room inside the station and beaten brutally. It is for this assault that the police report claimed there are no eyewitnesses.
BJP terms report strange, victim claims top cops protecting accused
Interestingly, the report does not mention the names of CI Vinod and SI Anish, who were accused of assaulting the siblings, lending credence to allegations that top police officials had been trying to protect the accused policemen from the start.
Meanwhile, the report debunked the Kilikollur officials’ claim that the complainants had been attacked outside the station. It said the lone lapse by the police was the failure of civil police officer Dileep and woman SI Swathi in preventing the issue. KSHRC had sought a report on the incident after Vignesh approached it with a complaint.
Responding to the report, Vignesh told reporters that top police officials were attempting to protect the officers. “We have no hope of getting justice from the police. We will proceed legally,” he said. BJP state president K Surendran too termed the report “strange”. “It says the assault occurred inside the police station, but there is no information about the assailants.
Such a report indicates police can do anything here. The entire world saw the visuals of the soldier being brutally beaten by the police,” said Surendran. He said it was clear that the state government was behind the police report to protect the criminals. “The government should be willing to appoint a judicial commission to investigate the police brutality in Kilikollur,” he said.
Vishnu and Vignesh had on November 12 moved the Kerala High Court, seeking to quash the criminal case registered against them. They told the court that the police beat them up mercilessly and concocted the story that they attacked the police in an MDMA seizure case.
The brothers said Vishnu’s wedding was called off by the bride and her family following the incident, while Vignesh failed to appear for the physical test for the police constable post owing to the injuries he suffered in the torture.