Kerala

Farmer’s death: police submits primary report to court

A police team probing the death of 41-year-old Mathai in Kudappana, under alleged custody of forest officials here, submitted its preliminary investigation report on Friday.

Official sources said the report, submitted to the Revenue Divisional Office court and then transferred to the Judicial First Class Magistrate Court, Ranni, sought to invoke action against the accused forest officials for culpable homicide not amounting to murder. However, no person has been arraigned as accused in the case.

The report, prepared on the basis of a legal opinion received by the police, also seeks to book the forest officials under various Sections, including forgery of documents, destruction of evidence, illegal confinement, threatening, and physical and mental torture, among other things.

Procedural violations

It also spoke about the various procedural violations committed by the forest officials who had taken the victim into custody, including the delay in registering a case against him, and the attempts to manipulate the entries in the General Diary as well as the mahassar.

“The report has been prepared on the basis a primary investigation into the allegations raised by the victim’s family. The chargesheet will be prepared based on a detailed investigation,” said K.G. Simon, Superintendent of Police, Pathanamthitta.

As part of the investigation, the police had performed a dummy trial at the crime scene earlier this week.

Mathai was found dead in a well near his residence on July 28, hours after being taken into custody by the forest officials for allegedly damaging a camera installed by the department on the forest fringes.

While a special investigation team led by Chief Forest Conservator (Southern Circle) Sanjayan Kumar had confirmed the death as a case of suicide, the relatives allege that the forest officials had thrown Mathai into the well after beating him to death.

Two forest officials — deputy range officer R. Rajesh Kumar and section forest officer A.K. Pradeep Kumar — have been placed under suspension based on a departmental inquiry.

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Printable version | Sep 29, 2020 4:29:11 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/farmers-death-police-submits-primary-report-to-court/article32357342.ece

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