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Kerala custodial death: Victim's body to be exhumed for new autopsy


Kottayam ( Kerala) :The Judicial Commission of Justice K. Narayana Kurup (retd), appointed by the Kerala government to probe the alleged custodial death of a financial agent at a police station in Idukki district last month, is all set to exhume the body to ascertain the actual cause of death.

Rajkumar, 49, a small-time financial agent, died in custody on June 21 after allegedly being subjected to brutal third degree torture at the Nedumkandam police station.

Speaking to the media after visiting the Nedumkandam police station, Justice Kurup said there is no other way out, other than to exhume the body, as the real cause of the death is not known.

"There appears to have big lapses that have occurred in the post-mortem. There are 22 wounds listed but the report does not mention of how old the injury is. It has been a few weeks now since the funeral took place, but still, without a re-postmortem, things cannot be ascertained," he said.

According to reports, Rajkumar was rounded up on June 12 by a group of people who he owed money to, and handed over to the Nedumkandam police. The police however, recorded his arrest on June 16 and later shifted him to the state-run Peerumedu Taluk Hospital, where he died on June 21.

Though the post-mortem mentioned pneumonia as the cause of death, the autopsy report revealed 22 injury marks on Rajkumar's body, most below the thighs, indicating that he was subjected to third degree torture while in custody.

By now, four police officials attached to the police station where the alleged torture took place have been arrested and sent to judicial custody.

Kurup's probe has commenced even as the Crime Branch are going about with their probe and he said he will now have to take possession of the CCTV footage of the visuals of the police station.



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