KERALA

Jurist visits custodial torture victim

Former Judge of the Supreme Court of India Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer visited Cheranallore resident Leeba Ratheesh, who was allegedly tortured by the police in custody, at the Ernakulam General Hospital on Wednesday evening.

Leeba has been a patient at the orthopedic ward of the hospital for a few weeks after the police allegedly assaulted her after her arrest on charge of theft. Justice Krishna Iyer consoled Leeba and said the incident was unfortunate and a blot on Kerala. He said the woman should be given a government job as she would be unable to do the work she was doing earlier. Justice Iyer also sent a fax to Chief Minister Oommen Chandy asking him to take steps to ensure justice for Leeba. The Justice Krishna Iyer Movement also demanded that a team from the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College examine her .

Earlier in the day, the hospital witnessed scenes of tension as a team of police officers arrived to record the woman’s statement. Leeba’s husband and other relatives protested against the police team alleging that they were taking down her statement repeatedly to confuse Leeba and ensure that she bungled up the statement. An argument broke out between the police and her relatives and Leeba reportedly fell unconscious, prompting the police to leave.

Members of the Kudumbasree held a dharna in front of the Cheranallore police station on Wednesday. The meeting, inaugurated by writer Leela Menon, demanded that other officers responsible for torturing Leeba be suspended from service.

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