Kerala

Madhu’s family happy with new prosecutor

PALAKKAD

The appointment of Rajesh M. Menon as the special public prosecutor in Attappady Madhu lynching case has brought back confidence to the family of the tribal youth who was beaten to death by a crowd at Chindakki, Attappady, on February 22, 2018.

Madhu’s mother Malli was on a harrowing trail seeking justice for her mentally deranged son as the trial was delayed for years and the authorities showed an apparent lack of cooperation. The special public prosecutors appointed in the beginning refused to attend the case, and the trial began at the SC/ST Special Court at Mannarkkad after Madhu’s family made a hue and cry.

Soon after the trial began on June 8, two key witnesses turned hostile. Witnesses Unnikrishnan and Chandran backtracked from their earlier statements that they had seen Madhu being beaten up by certain persons. When the trial began, they said that their earlier statements had been given under threat from the police.

Madhu’s sister Sarasu blamed the special public prosecutor C. Rajendran for his failure in preventing the witnesses from turning hostile. She approached the trial court first and the High Court later, seeking a halt for the trial and a replacement for Mr. Rajendran.

Following a High Court order, the government on Saturday appointed Mr. Menon in place of Mr. Rajendran.

Madhu’s family said that they were confident that the new public prosecutor would be able to prevent anymore witnessing from turning hostile. Mr. Menon, however, cautioned that it was a challenge to take the case forward.

There was pressure on Madhu’s family from various corners to settle the case. Sarasu said that some of the key witnesses had been offered ₹2 lakh by the accused to change their statements.

Sarasu also alleged that her family had been threatened by some groups after her brother’s death four years ago. “We never revealed it because of fear,” she said.

She said some people had come to their house with weapons on a night, and they escaped the attack as they hid in the jungle.


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Printable version | Aug 17, 2022 6:12:43 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/madhus-family-happy-with-new-prosecutor/article65568039.ece