Two Kerala policemen get death for custodial death, three get rigorous imprisonment

The court had convicted these five for the custodial death of a 26-year-old man at the police station in September 2005

Thiruvananthapuram, July 25 (IANS) A CBI Special Court here on Wednesday sentenced to death two policemen and three others to rigorous imprisonment for three years in a case of custodial torture and death 13 years ago.

Those handed out capital punishment include Constables K. Jithukumar and S.V. Sreekumar, who had detained Udayakumar who later died in custody.

Those found guilty of conspiracy and destroying evidence are then Sub-Inspector Ajith Kumar, Circle Inspector E.K. Sabu and then Assistant Commissioner of Police K. Haridas.

The court on Tuesday had convicted these five for the custodial death of the 26-year-old man at the Fort police station in September 2005.

Police had detained two friends, Udayakumar and Suresh Kumar, on the charge of theft. When Udayakumar was let off later, policemen were irked when he asked for Rs 4,000 taken from his pocket by the police while he was in custody. He was brutally tortured with an iron rod, following which he died.

Udayakumar’s mother Prabhavathi Amma had approached the Kerala High Court for a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation.

“This is the best news I am hearing,” she told the media as she broke down.

“Justice has been finally delivered to my son and me. It should serve as a lesson to all policemen never to use force against people. Such fate (her son’s) should never befall anyone again,” she added. 

“It was just before the Onam festival that my son was brutally killed by these policemen. And see, Onam is now round the corner… just as my son could not eat his Onam meal then, these policemen will not be able to eat theirs this time,” the aged woman said.

The convicts’ counsel said that they will appeal against the verdict.

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