The investigation into the Haripad custodial torture case will be headed by Narcotic Cell Deputy Superintendent of Police (Dy.SP) Ashok Kumar.
The Haripad police recently registered a case against seven police officers including a Dy.SP for custodial torture of a cooperative bank employee in 2017. The case was registered based on a complaint filed by Arun S. (35) of Kumarapuram in Alappuzha.
Earlier the First Information Report (FIR) in the case was filed by Haripad sub inspector Sreekumar M. However, the move to entrust a sub-inspector with the investigation, in which a Dy.SP has been named as an accused, had come under criticism.
The police officers named in the FIR are former Haripad sub inspector K.G. Ratheesh, civil police officers- Anju, Sagar, Sunil, Sajan, Sunilkumar and former Haripad circle inspector T. Manoj. Mr. Manoj is currently a Dy.SP.
According to Arun, he was taken into custody on the afternoon of October 16, 2017, alleging that he pelted stones at a Kerala State Road Transport Corporation bus in connection with a United Democratic Front hartal on the same day. While in custody he was brutally tortured by the police officers. As per the FIR, Ratheesh grabbed him by the scruff of his neck and five civil police officers thrashed him on his back and the spine. The seventh accused Manoj slapped Arun’s left face and squeezed his testicles. Arun had to undergo medical treatment for several weeks following the alleged custodial torture.
The Kerala State Human Rights Commission had earlier ordered to pay a compensation of ₹35,000 to Arun and initiate criminal proceedings and disciplinary action against erring officers. Last month Kerala High Court directed the authorities concerned to implement the KSHRC order.
The accused were booked under sections 294 (b) (sings, recites or utters any obscene song, ballad or words) 342 (punishment for wrongful confinement), 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention).