Kerala marathon protester returns to fight for justice for deceased brother

Sreejith fears for life as some of the policemen ‘involved’ in the case were living in the vicinity of his house

Thiruvananthapuram: A youth who had sat in protest in front of the Kerala secretariat for 782 days demanding a federal police probe into the custodial death of his brother, and then called it off when his demand was met, revived his protest on Sunday.

S. Sreejith, had ended his more than two year-long protest after the state government wrote to the federal government and got the assurance that a Central Bureau of Investigation probe would be conducted into the custodial death of Sreejith’s brother, Sreejiv.

Sreejiv, 26 had died in a hospital while in police custody, after being arrested by police on the allegation that he had stolen a mobile phone.

Police say Sreejiv had committed suicide while in police custody while Sreejith says his brother was brutally murdered by police because he was in love with a girl who was a relative of a policeman. Police deny that charge.

Sreejith had ended his protest when he got assurance that a CBI probe would be held, but he revived his protest on Sunday, demanding that some ‘tainted’ policemen be kept out of the investigation process. He said since some of the policemen ‘involved’ in the case were living in the vicinity of his house, he feared for his life.

Sreejith is a native of Neyyattinkara in the outskirts of Thiruvananthapuram, and his lengthy protest caught the attention of the general public only after it went viral on social media. Once it got the public attention, a number of celebrities including movie stars flocked to the pandal where he had been holding his protest.

The media attention forced the state government to write to the federal government for a CBI probe, and when that was granted, Sreejith had ended the protest. The renewed protest from Sunday is expected to give the state government more worries, particularly at a time when the ruling Left Democratic Front has its own internal bickering to deal with.


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