Kerala

Madhu’s kin allege bid to scuttle case

The family of A. Madhu, the tribal youth who was lynched by a gang at Attappady four years ago, has raised suspicions of attempts to scuttle the legal proceedings against the culprits.

Madhu’s sister, Sarasu, said that there were pressures to settle the case and also to influence the key witness. She said the key witness had been offered ₹2 lakh to withdraw from the case.

Ms. Sarasu also said that there were assault attempts on the family after the murder of her brother. “We did not reveal it to the public because of fear,” she said.

Madhu’s family said that some people had came to their house with weapons at night a few months after he was lynched, and they escaped the attack as they hid in the jungle.

It was on February 22, 2018, that Madhu was lynched by a local mob that charged him with theft. Nearly four years after the murder, the trial was yet to begin owing largely to political pressures from the culprits.

Prosecutor quits

A special public prosecutor appointed by the government refused to take up the case. The second prosecutor, V.T. Raghunath, too has stepped aside raising poor health as an excuse.

The Director General of Prosecutions has asked Madhu’s family to suggest three names for prosecutor’s post to handle his case at the Special Court for SC/ST Atrocities Act Cases at Mannarkkad.

The court had raised a concern over the absence of the prosecutor when the case came up for hearing a couple of days ago. The court’s concern brought the case back into limelight. A new prosecutor is expected when the court hears the case now on February 26.

Minister for Law P. Rajeeve said that the government was viewing the absence of the prosecutor seriously. He said the government would act if there was any fault.

Family’s charge

Madhu’s sister alleged that neither the government nor the prosecutor had informed the family of the status of the case. She said that the family was disappointed with the government, and was planning to approach the High Court demanding an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation.

Madhu was lynched on February 22, 2018, and the police submitted their chargesheet on May 22, 2018, accusing 16 local people. Among them were local leaders of different political parties.

Madhu’s family said they were living in fear as the accused had political clout. One of the accused, Shamsuddeen P., was a branch secretary of the CPI(M). He was removed from the post after his involvement in the lynching case.


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Printable version | May 27, 2022 9:45:55 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/madhus-kin-allege-bid-to-scuttle-case/article38334550.ece