Thursday, May 23, 2024

Kerala: Tribal man found dead after mob assault, family alleges foul play in police version

Viswanathan, a tribal youth of Adled tribal hamlet in Kerala’s Wayanad was found hanging near the Government Medical College Hospital in Kozhikode on February 11, Saturday, days after he was assaulted by a mob.

The family members of Viswanathan said that Viswanathan would never end his life, and that he was beaten to death by a group of people. The youth was questioned and roughed up by a group of people at the hospital on the charges of stealing a mobile phone, they alleged.

The incident occurred when Viswanathan arrived at the Hospital as a bystander for his pregnant wife Bindu. The mob assaulted him while he was staying in the bystander’s area.

His mother-in-law approached the police cell at the medical college when the family could not trace him until late on Thursday. But the police allegedly refused to register the complaint.

Vishwanathan’s brother Vinod said to media that the police did not register a case even though Vishwanathan’s mother-in-law had given a complaint on the same night he went missing. “The next day, I visited the police station. The police were not ready to take the case initially. The cops insulted and said sarcastically: ‘Many reach from Wayanad and say one is missing’.”

His body was found near the old police quarters of the hospital campus. The body was found to be two days old and had blood stains on his nose and leg.

However, the police officers who examined the scene of death and recovered the body on Saturday said that there were no bodily injuries or signs of mortal manhandling as per the post-mortem report and the observations made by the medical team. While it was first reported Vishwanathan died by suicide, police have now changed it to unnatural death. At the same time, they say there is no evidence of lynching and there is a mark on his neck that he was strangled with a shawl.

“The injuries on his body and even the assumptions by the police are quite suspicious,” said his brother Raghavan, reports Malayala Manorama.

Meanwhile, the State Human Rights Commission has registered a suo moto case after family members raised the allegations.

Senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who is the Member of Parliament from the Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency, visited the family of 46-year-old Viswanathan, on Monday.

Rahul met Vishwanathan’s widow, Bindu, and her newborn and promised to intervene in the matter and ensure justice for her husband.

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