760 days of ‘Protest’: Sreejith still fights for justice for his ‘killed brother’

Hailing from Kerala, Sreejith is not giving up fighting for justice for his dead brother ‘Sreejiv’ who was brutally tortured and killed in the police custody in 2014. It has been 768 days and still counting and Sreejith is has been protesting outside the Kerala Secretariat. Sreejith’s protest that is continuing for more than two years had not only caught the attention of Kerala but also other states of India.

Sreejith demanded that those who are responsible for his brother’s death in the police custody should be penalized. Not a long ago, Kerala Government revealed that they would request the Central Bureau of Investigation again to take up the concerned case. But CBI rebuffed the case saying that, “it was not an exceptional case that warranted the central agency’s investigation”.

Sreejith is not giving up fighting for justice (Credits: Scroll.in)

However, a bold statement from Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s office highlighted that the state government wants the CBI to recheck the case. “The state government wants the CBI to review its earlier stand,” a statement from Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s office said on Sunday.

“Sreejiv died in police torture during his custody. The authority ordered compensation of Rs 10 lakh to his dependents and appropriate punishment for the culprits. I had approached the Home Ministry many times, but no action was taken on my complaint,” Sreejith told the reporters in Kochi.

During Monday’s meeting, the chief minister is believed to have told Sreejith and his mother that the state government would not make any move to vacate the court stay. Sreejith still believes that justice will go in his favour. He further added saying that he will end his protest once the CBI takes over Sreejiv’s case. “I will end my sit-in after they launch the investigation,” he told reporters.

Death in the Police Custody:

Sreejiv drew his last breathe on May 21, 2014 in a Thiruvananthapuram hospital, two days after he was arrested and taken into the police custody on a charge of theft. Sreejith said that the police took Sreejiv to the police station the day before a woman he was believed to be in a affair with was getting married. Sreejith said that this was done at the behest of the woman’s relative, who was a policeman.

However, the police claimed that Sreejiv intentionally took risk to commit suicide while being taken into custody by consuming poison that he had concealed in his underwear. But the State Police Complaints Authority, which further inquired in detail regarding the death following Sreejith’s complaint, confirmed that Sreejiv had died due to police torture while in custody.

Potential report said Parassala Circle Inspector Gopakumar, additional sub-inspector Philippose, and civil police officers Prathapachandran and Vijayadas had brutally attacked Sreejiv and given him poison. The report further claimed that they made up the evidence in a bid to cover up the murder.

Kerala People march in support of Sreejith in Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday.(Credits: Special Arrangement)

Sreejith is a district-level body builder by trait. Due to protest, it has changed his physique. Given the fact that over hundreds of people who made giant strides to fight for justice for Sreejith’s brother made Sreejith much better. “It gave me a ray of hope,” he told a television channel on Sunday.

Things have happened behind the scenes and Sreejith stressed the fact that only a CBI inquiry could bring out the truth behind his brother’s death. “I do not think that the Kerala police will conduct a fair investigation,” he said. “But I hope justice will prevail at the end of the day.”

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