Tanur custodial death: Audio recording reveals high-ranking cops’ alleged interference in probe

Previously, the Thamir Jifri Action Council had voiced suspicions that high-ranking cops in the district, including the SP  and DySP, were obstructing the probe.

Published: 21st August 2023 06:44 AM  |   Last Updated: 21st August 2023 06:55 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

MALAPPURAM: Fresh evidence has surfaced, shedding light on alleged efforts by senior police officials in Malappuram to obstruct the probe into the Tanur custodial death. An audio recording this has emerged, purportedly capturing a telephone conversation involving suspended  Tanur sub-inspector Krishnalal R D, along with two other civil police officers from the same station - Libin and Sreeharish.

The recorded conversation appears to unveil covert strategies employed by senior cops to hinder the probe into the custodial death of Thamir Jifri. It suggests that Tanur DySP V V Benny instructed these officers to seek advice from advocate Manjeri  Sreedharan Nair, who had been arranged for them. During the conversation, Libin reassures that the financial aspect will be covered by  SP Sujith Das, thereby alleviating any financial concerns. The aim was to align their statements with the police department’s version for the crime branch investigation. This indicates that senior police officials are concerned about the implications of the officers’ statements and the potential fallout.

Libin is heard saying, “DySP Benny instructed us to meet with advocate Manjeri Sreedharan Nair to rectify our statements. Don’t be concerned about the financial aspect; the SP will cover the expenses of consulting the advocate.”

Previously, the Thamir Jifri Action Council had voiced suspicions that high-ranking cops in the district, including the SP  and DySP, were obstructing the probe. The council called for the removal of these officials from their positions in  Malappuram. Sub-inspector Krishnalal said that the DySP-led DANSAF team physically assaulted Thamir before presenting him as a suspect in a narcotics case. The subsequent postmortem report indicated that injuries sustained during the abuse contributed to  Thamir’s death, potentially implicating those responsible for the mistreatment.

In response, the police department initiated internal disciplinary action against Krishnalal for granting a media interview about the incident. The department cited his violation of the Kerala Police Act 31(3) and the potential for his statements to tarnish the image of the police force.

Amid growing concerns about the state government’s handling of the case, Sports Minister V Abdurahiman assured that stringent action will be taken against implicated police officers. He stated, “Officers proven guilty of misconduct will face appropriate penalties. In response to widespread demands, the state government swiftly swung into action by transferring the case to the CBI,  showcasing its commitment to a comprehensive probe.”

Meanwhile, SP Sujith Das refuted accusations from political parties in the district that he is attempting to inflate the crime rate in  Malappuram through illegal means. He also denied allegations that he enjoys support from a powerful figure within the state government to safeguard his position as Malappuram SP. Sujith Das remarked, “These claims are baseless and amount to personal attacks against  me.”    

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