A Special Investigation Team (SIT) led by Joshy Cherian, Assistant Commissioner of Police (Control Room), Kozhikode city, will probe the case of the lynching of a youth, Shahid Bava, by a mob at Kodiyathur, 30 km from the city.

The officer will be assisted by the Koduvally Circle Inspector T. Rajappan Rawuther and Sub-Inspectors of Koduvally and Mukkom. The 26- year old youth, hailing from Cheruvadi, near Kodiyathur, was beaten with sticks at 11.30 p.m. on Wednesday for allegedly having an affair with married woman.

Bava succumbed to his injuries at Baby Memorial Hospital here on Sunday. Initially the victim, who was found in a pool of blood near the Kodiyattur Village Office, was taken to the Kunhitharuvai Memorial Charitable Trust (KMCT) Medical College at Mampetta. His relatives alleged that some local people masquerading as moral police tied the victim to an electric post and thrashed him.

The body was released to his relatives after a post-mortem examination was conducted at the Kozhikode Government Medical College Hospital in the morning. The funeral was held at the Cheruvadi Puthiyothu Jumath Mosque in the afternoon.

Earlier, the Mukkom police had arrested one person, K. Abdurehiman, in connection with the incident. He was then charged with Section 307 (attempt to murder); and 324 (voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The Thamarassery Judicial First Class Magistrate had also remanded him in judicial custody for 14 days. Investigators planned to get him remanded in police custody, said Vadakara Superintendent of Police Neeraj Kumar Gupta, who is monitoring the case.

Now the police have registered a case against more than a dozen persons under Section 302 (murder); 142 (unlawful assembly); 147 (rioting); and 149 (every member of the unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object); of the IPC.

At least seven accused had been identified. Several people, including an autorickshaw driver, had been taken into custody for interrogation, the police said.

Investigators are looking into several angles, including any organised group masterminding the attack and rivalry between the families. Bava, a bachelor, had a tormenting experience when a group chased him from Kodiyathur on October 22. The victim had been doing some-odd jobs in Saudi Arabia and he had been here for the past seven months, the police said.

In a related development, the United Democratic Front observed a dawn-to-dusk hartal at Kodiyathur grama panchayat and the Left Democratic Front in some areas of Kodiyathur. The hartal passed off peacefully. However, a platoon of police personnel is camping in the region.

C. Moinkutty, MLA; District Collector P.B. Salim; and Deputy Inspector-General of Police (Kannur Range) S. Sreejith; visited the house of the victim. “The incident is a cause for serious concern. As of now the government has not thought of any compensation. However the first priority is bringing the culprits to book, ” Dr. Salim said.

Keywords: SITmob violence

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