Kerala government decides to dismiss accused police officers in Nedumkandam custodial death

The state government has accepted the recommendation of the Justice (retd) Narayana Kurup to dismiss police officers accused of custodial deaths without any hearings
Kerala government decides to dismiss accused police officers in Nedumkandam custodial death

Following the cabinet meeting, the state government has accepted the various recommendations of the Justice (retd) Narayana Kurup commission, including the dismissal of police officers accused of custodial deaths without any hearings. The commission was formed to investigate the custodial death of Rajkumar in Nedumkandam in Idukki. Moreover, the government will follow through with the matter and dismiss those accused of Rajkumar’s death. Meanwhile, police associations are currently against the move.

In the mid of June 2019, Nedumkandam police had arrested Wagamon-resident Rajkumar concerning Haritha Finance fraud, where he was the Managing Director. The police had decided that they would recover the money without registering custody. The police resorted to torture and third-degree and when Rajkumar’s situation became worse, the officials tricked the magistrate and sent him into judicial custody. From there, he was taken to a Taluk Hospital as his conditions worsened, and there Rajkumar succumbed to his injuries on June 21 of the same year.

Following his death and public outcry, the LDF government had constituted the judicial commission with Justice K Narayana Kurup. Moreover, the CBI had also investigated the case and while their first accused was the then Sub Inspector Sabu KA, they also included the then Idukki Superintendent of Police KB Venugopal.

The report, which was submitted on January 7, claims that Rajkumar’s death was due to custodial torture and highlights the actions to be taken against the accused police officers. The report says that the police had violated countless laws and norms set by courts to hide their crime, and they even subverted postmortem procedures.

The Central Bureau of Investigation had filed a chargesheet on the case on February 4. In the chargesheet submitted to the Ernakulam Chief Judicial Magistrate, the agency names nine people associated with the case, and the then Sub Inspector KA Sabu as the first accused. Moreover, the CBI will also investigate the then SP Venugopal, DySP Shamsudheen, jail officials, and the medical staff associated with the case.

The Bureau claims that Rajkumar’s death is a result of torture while under illegal custody, adding that the police filed false evidence against the deceased. The initial Crime Branch probe into Rajkumar's death included seven accused, while the Bureau added a head constable and a female police officer in theirs.

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