Sixteen people have been arrested in connection with the brutal lynching of a tribal youth in Attapadi region of Palakkad district whose death sparked a widespread outcry in the state. The accused have been charged with sections of murder and will be produced in court on Monday. Confirming the development, Agali DYSP T K Subrahmanyan said that more people are under custody and being interrogated.
According to the police, the arrest of the 16 accused was made after the postmortem report revealed that the deceased Madhu had injuries on the head and bruises all over the body. The report also said there was internal bleeding and he had broken ribs. The postmortem was conducted at the Thrissur Medical college.
The Thrissur Range IG said cases under various IPC sections, including murder, and SC/ST Atrocities Prevention Act would be registered against the accused. A case under the IT Act for circulating his photo on social media can also be registered, the IG said.
Madhu, 27, died in a police vehicle after being violently attacked by a mob that accused him of being involved in a minor theft. According to his family, he was mentally unsound and was living in a cave in the forest for the past several months. His mother, Mallika, and sister Chandrika told television channels that a group of nearly 10-15 persons went to the forest and thrashed him.
The body of the deceased was brought to the tribal village soon after postmortem.
Union Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram said the chief secretary of the state has been asked to submit a report on the incident and the steps taken by the government. The state government also announced a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the family of the victim. Taking to Twitter, the Chief Minister said, “The Government of Kerala has announced Rs 10 lakhs for the family of the tribal youth, Madhu, who was killed in a mob attack in Palakkad. CM has given directions to the Chief Secretary to disburse the amount forthwith.”
അട്ടപ്പാടിയിൽ മർദനമേറ്റു മരിച്ച ആദിവാസി യുവാവ് മധുവിന്റെ കുടുംബത്തിന് 10 ലക്ഷം രൂപ ധനസഹായം നൽകാൻ സർക്കാർ… https://t.co/SrEK6rlcdD
— Pinarayi Vijayan (@vijayanpinarayi) February 24, 2018
Tribal activists from across Kerala staged a protest this morning, blocking traffic at Attappady. The Opposition too observed ” Hartal” at Mannarcaud taluk, under which Attappadi falls.
Superstar Mammootty also spoke out against what Vijayan described as a “blot on Kerala’s progressive society”.
“Don’t call Madhu an adivasi. I would call him my younger brother… Don’t call a human being who steals (food) to remove his hunger a thief… Madhu, I am sorry,” wrote Mammootty on his Facebook page.