Kerala officer petitions court over top cop’s daughter

Gavaskar wants charges against him dropped; Opposition demands adjournment motion over death of young man in police custody

Thiruvananthapuram: Police brutality continued to be the topic of discussion within the Kerala assembly and outside on Wednesday as the state government decided not to refer to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) the case of a custodial death, and as a police driver appealed to the high court in a case in which he has accused his boss’ daughter of abusing and assaulting him.

In the state assembly, the opposition demanded an adjournment motion over the death of a young man in police custody.

Sreejith’s family is demanding a CBI investigation into the matter after the young man, a native of Varapuzha in the outskirts of Kochi, was mistakenly taken into custody, only to lose his life a few days later — the victim of alleged police brutality.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who also holds the home portfolio, said “this is not the first custodial death in the state”, adding that the investigation was progressing in the case and that if there was any flaw, the courts would point them out.

Opposition Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) alleged that the government was trying to sabotage the case because some Communist Party of India Marxist (CPI-M) affiliates were involved in the case.

Meanwhile, there was more embarrassment for the government when Abdul Kareem Gavaskar, a police driver who was assigned to Additional Director-General of Police, Sudheesh Kumar, petitioned the Kerala High Court to quash a complaint filed by Kumar’s daughter, Snigda, against him.

Gavaskar, who is currently in hospital after allegedly being assaulted by Snigda, filed an official complaint against her, accusing her of verbally and physical abuse.

In turn, a charge was slapped against the driver that he had grabbed the ADGP’s daughter’s hand — an affront to her modesty.

Gavaskar approached the High Court and asked it to kick out the case filed against him, pointing out that it was he who had been assaulted. He told the court that the charge filed against him was only to weaken the case of assault that he had filed against Snigda.

Several senior police officials in Kerala, many of them from the Indian Police Service, have been accused of ill-treating their junior colleagues and forcing them to do a range of menial jobs including bathing their dogs, buying provisions, washing clothes and accompanying family members of seniors officers on pilgrimages and to tourist centres.

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