THRISSUR: Kerala Police is cracking down heavily on those accused in the death of 27-year-old "mentally unfit" tribal man, who was attacked in the forest near Palakkad for alleged theft. The police arrested nine more people on Saturday, taking the number of those held to eleven.
"Apart from these, four more are to be arrested," Inspector General of Police MR Ajithkumar said.
Eight of the 11 persons named in the attack that took place on Thursday have been charged for murder.
Ajithkumar, who is leading the probe, said that the post-mortem confirms the cause of death to be the injuries. "The reason for the death is injury caused to the head," Ajithkumar said. The perpetrators have been booked under various sections of the Indian Penal code and the Forest Act, including murder and illegal confinement, the police officer said.
The autopsy report shows that Madhu died of severe internal bleeding. He was attacked by the mob in the forest near Palakkad on Thursday evening for alleged theft. He was handed over to the police in an injured state but died on his way to the government hospital. He suffered severe injuries to his head, ribs and chest.
Following the autopsy, the body was taken to his home near Agali in Palakkad district on Saturday. Madhu's sister Chandrika has accused the Forest Department officials of failing to do their duty. "Madhu lived in the forest in a cave and access to this place is only to those who have the right. We are surprised how this group of people managed to go into the forest and beat him up," Chandrika said.
"Moreover, after he was beaten up, he was made to walk from inside the forest to the police station. He was hardly able to walk," Chandrika said describing the attack.
"When Madhu asked for water, he was teased and after giving a few drops they dropped the rest of the water on the ground to mock him," she added. She also claimed that while his injured brother struggled to walk, a forest department jeep followed him.
State Forest Minister P Raju has assured that he will look into the allegations of Chandrika, and will take appropriate action against the offenders.
Madhu was beaten to death after his hands were tied using his dhoti by a group of people who accused him of theft. The entire episode was filmed on a mobile phone and posted on social media.
The incident took social media and the ruling Pinarayi Vijayan government by storm.