14 Kerala cops indicted for custodial death

Exactly five years after the custodial death of a labourer, who was allegedly tortured at a police station here, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed a charge sheet in a court here Monday, indicting 14 policemen.

Last Updated: Sep 27, 2010, 15:08 PM IST

Thiruvananthapuram: Exactly five years after the custodial death of a labourer, who was allegedly tortured at a police station here, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed a charge sheet in a court here Monday, indicting 14 policemen.

The CBI filed the charge sheet before the Ernakulam chief judicial magistrate.

The labourer, Udayakumar, a bachelor in his 40s, died in 2005 and his mother had approached the court for a CBI probe in 2007.

Of the 14, three police constables have been charged with murder. Eleven have been charged with criminal conspiracy and destroying evidence.

But according to the CBI, three among the 11, including a deputy superintendent of police, a circle inspector, and a head constable, were also to be charged with murder but the agency did not get the sanction from the prosecution.

Udayakumar was picked up along with another man, Mani, from a park and taken to the Fort police station here on September 27, 2005.

The police searched them and found Rs 4,000 in their possession. When asked where they had got the money, the two gave differing explanations, raising suspicion. They were then taken to the police station and allegedly tortured.

Udayakumar fell unconscious and was certified dead on arrival at the Medical College Hospital in Thiruvananthapuram.

This incident was turned into a major issue during the Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha by-election by the Left Democratic Front, which was then in the opposition. The Communist Party of India (CPI) candidate Paniyan Ravindran won the election.

IANS