Updated: April 10, 2018 5:13:49 pm
Tense moments prevailed in Varappuzha area near here on Tuesday after BJP workers blocked traffic on the Ernakulam-Guruvayur highway to protest the alleged death of a 26-year old man in police custody. Sreejith, who was taken into custody in connection with the death of a person last week, died in a private hospital last evening. His relatives alleged that he died due to torture.
Scores of BJP workers blocked the road throwing traffic out of gear after the party called for a dawn-to-dusk hartal in Varappuzha Panchayat, protesting the death of Sreejith, who they claimed was a party worker. The BJP workers said they would continue their agitation till Sreejith’s family gets justice. Visuals aired by Malayalam television channels showed BJP workers allegedly preventing vehicles from moving forward.
During the protest, the party workers allegedly manhandled a person who approached them seeking a safe passage for his vehicle carrying his child to hospital. Local leaders of the BJP, however, rejected allegations of violence during the protest. Congress workers also took out a march to Varappuzha police station, protesting the incident. North Paravur MLA V D Satheesan inaugurated the march.
Sreejith’s body has been sent for postmortem at Government Medical College, Alappuzha. Police have rejected the allegation of torture, saying Sreejith was suspected to have suffered injuries during a clash allegedly before he was taken into custody. Meanwhile, Kerala Police chief Loknath Behera said a Special Investigation Team (SIT) has been constituted to probe the incidents that led to Sreejith’s death.
Stepping up its stand against police, acting chairman of the Kerala State Human Rights Commission, P Mohanadas, said the policemen involved in the incident should be removed from service. Mohandas had visited Sreejith yesterday, who had been put on ventilator after an emergency surgery. A Commission release, quoting hospital authorities, had said Sreejith suffered ‘grievous internal wounds in his stomach’ and was brought to Aster Medicity hospital.
Sreejith’s wife on Monday informed the Commission that she was witness to the ‘torture’ after policemen in civvies took him into custody from their residence at Varappuzha. Some persons, including Sreejith, were taken into custody in connection with the death of a 55-year old man, who was found hanging in his house after a group of miscreants attacked his house on Friday last. Meanwhile, a medical report from the hospital, where he was treated said Sreejith was admitted through the emergency department with history of blunt abdominal injury. He was in septesaemic shock and was resuscitated in the emergency department and was taken up for emergency surgery.
During the next two days in the ICU, the patient progressively deteriorated and was on very high dose of drugs to support his blood pressures. “At around 5.30 pm on Monday evening he had a cardiac arrest.. The team tried to revive him for almost one hour and then gave up,” it said.
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