A newly married man in Kerala’s Kollam district was abducted, tortured and killed, allegedly by a gang of criminals sent by his wife’s relatives, police said on Monday. The man, identified as Kevin P Joseph, was kidnapped along with a relative from Mannanam. His body was later found in a stream near Thenmala, triggering widespread protests by his family members. Alleging police laxity, the victim’s family accused them of failing to act on his wife’s earlier complaint.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan described the incident as “unfortunate” and ordered a SIT probe. He also denied reports that police showed laxity in investigating the case initially. Police in Kottayam and Thenmala in Kollam, from where the body was recovered, were investigating the case and all efforts were being made to nab the accused as early as possible, he said.
The police has now registered a case against 10 unidentified persons in connection with the incident, PTI reported. Kevin and his relative Aneesh were abducted from the latter’s residence by the gang. Aneesh was later abandoned on the road after subjecting him to brutal torture. He is currently recovering at the Government Medical College Hospital in Kottayam.
Kevin had recently married a woman at a registrar’s office in Ettumanoor against the wishes of her family. Both were summoned to the Gandhinagar police station based on her family’s complaint. The woman, however, preferred to go with her husband.
Kerala Human Rights Commission said it was suspected to be a case of honour killing and ordered the state police chief to submit a report in three weeks if there was any negligence from the side of the police in investigating the case.
Sub Inspector M S Shibu and Grade ASI Sunnymon of the Gandhinagar police station suspended by Ernakulam Range IG Vijay Sahkare for their laxity.
Leader of Opposition in the assembly, Ramesh Chennithala, attacked Vijayan, who is also holding the Home portfolio, over the incident. He urged Vijayan to quit the Home portfolio in view of such incidents in the state due to “inefficient policing.”
The BJP has called for a dawn-to-dusk hartal in Kottayam district tomorrow in protest against the incident.
With PTI inputs