Policemen under torture scanner put to ‘test’

July 31, 2015 12:00 am | Updated 05:48 am IST - KOCHI:

The Kerala State Police Complaints Authority on Thursday literally put to test eight cops from the Marangattupilly police station in Kottayam to verify potential contradictions in their statements on the alleged custodial death of 40-year-old Sibi.

The police personnel, including the suspended Sub Inspector K.A. Georgekutty, were given a questionnaire with 67 questions at the sitting of the authority here. They were asked to fill it without mutual consultations, which they did in more than an hour in an exam hall-like atmosphere with authority chairman K. Narayana Kurup playing the role of an invigilator.

The case

The police took Sibi, a Dalit from Marangattupilly, into custody on the night of June 29 allegedly for creating ruckus in an inebriated state. He succumbed to fatal head injuries while under treatment at the Kottayam Medical College on July 11 creating a furore over alleged police brutality.

“It was grave dereliction of duty on the part of the police in not having taken Sibi to hospital despite his condition at the time of custody,” Mr. Kurup said.

Mr. Georgekutty said that Sibi was in too inebriated a state to be taken to hospital, fed or to return home with family. Sibi spent 12 hours in custody without medical treatment and it was too late by the time he was taken to hospital next morning.

The authority has zeroed in on a huge swelling behind the deceased’s head caused probably under the impact of a blunt object, which eventually led to his death. The police claimed that they didn’t notice such an injury at the time of taking him into custody, while Sibi’s mother said that there was no such injury when she met him at the police station shortly after he was taken into custody.

However, the authority has received multiple statements alluding to a scuffle between Sibi and a 16-year-old, though there was nothing to prove previous enmity between them. The teenager himself had reportedly admitted it to the doctor the day after Sibi was taken into custody.

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