Kochi: S.R. Sreejith, 26, who died due to alleged custodial torture on April 9, might have been beaten up either in police jeep or in the lock-up in the Varappuzha police station. In what may cause further trouble for the local police, a key witness, Ganesh, who was along with the police personnel while Sreejith was taken into custody from his (Sreejith’s) house on April 6, claimed that the youth had not suffered any injuries during the clash on the temple premise with mufti police on the day nor when he was held by three police personnel of the Rural Task Force.
"He had no injury or difficulty when he was taken into custody from his house. However, I don’t know what happened in the police jeep or lock- up," said Ganesh who helped the RTF personnel in locating the youth’s house. Ganesh is the younger brother of Vasudevan, who committed suicide after a gang entered his house and assaulted and threatened him on April 6 noon. Earlier, the three RTF personnel -- Jithin Raj, Santosh Kumar and Sumesh-- who took Sreejith into custody from his house at Devaswompadam in Varappuzha, were suspended following the statement of the victim’s mother that her son was assaulted while being taken away.
However, the RTF personnel claimed they didn’t do anything and that they were being made scapegoats. The trio even handed over a picture of the youth taken at 11 p.m., which reportedly showed him in a healthy condition. The autopsy report too states that he was assaulted after 11 p.m. on April 6. The victim’s brother Sajith had earlier told reporters that the police had assaulted Sreejith while he was taken into custody and later at the lock-up.