Thrissur: The Kerala Police on Saturday said it has arrested nine more persons in connection with the murder of a 27-year-old “mentally unfit” tribal man, who was attacked in the forest near Palakkad by a lynch mob for alleged theft.
“Apart from these, another four more are to be arrested,” Inspector General of Police M.R. Ajithkumar said. Of the 11 persons named in the Thursday evening attack, police arrested two on Friday while nine were arrested on Saturday. Eight have been charged for murder.
Ajithkumar, who is leading the probe, told the media that all 11 accused were in police custody.
“The reason for the death is injury caused to the head,” Ajithkumar said quoting Madhu’s autopsy report. The perpetrators have been booked under various sections of the Indian Penal code and the Forest Act, including murder and illegal confinement.
The autopsy report of Madhu has revealed that the victim died of severe internal bleeding. Madhu, who was attacked by the lynch mob in the forest near Palakkad on Thursday evening, later died at a police station, after suffering severe injuries to his head, ribs and chest. Following the autopsy, the body was taken to his home near Agali in Palakkad district on Saturday.
Madhu’s sister Chandrika has accused the Forest Department officials of failing to do their duty.
“Madhu lived in the forest in a cave and access to this place is only to those who have the right. We are surprised how this group of people managed to go into the forest and beat him up,” Chandrika said.
“Moreover, after he was beaten up, he was made to walk from inside the forest to the police station. He was hardly able to walk,” Chandrika said describing the attack that took the social media and the Pinarayi Vijayan government by storm.
“When Madhu asked for water, he was teased and after giving a few drops they dropped the rest of the water on the ground to mock him.”
Chandrika said while an injured Madhu struggled to walk with his injuries, a forest department jeep followed him.
State Forest Minister P. Raju told media persons that he will look into the matter raised by Chandrika, and appropriate action would be taken against the offenders.
Madhu was beaten to death after his hands were tied using his dhoti by a group of people who accused him of theft, according to the victim’s mother. The entire episode was filmed on a mobile phone and posted on social media which evoked a huge furore against the savagery that was committed by the group of people.
Chief Minister Vijayan, in a Facebook post on Saturday, announced that the state government would give ex-gratia payment of Rs 10 lakh to Madhu’s family. State Minister for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes A.K. Balan who hails from the same district said he will be visiting the tribal village in Agali on Sunday.