As many as 66 policemen, including the Station House Officer (SHO) of the Vadakara police station, have been transferred in connection with the death of a 42-year-old man, who died soon after he was released from police custody last week.
The state Home Department, under Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, took disciplinary action in the wake of a huge public outcry against the police over the recent incident. Based on a report from the Rural SP, the Kannur DIG had earlier suspended three police officers, including a sub-inspector, citing procedural lapses.
The incident was one in which three people including P P Sajeevan, the deceased, reportedly had an altercation with a person, after their car was involved in a collision with another vehicle at Theruvath near Vadakara last week.
Police, who reached the spot and took the trio into custody, had released them later. Sajeevan's friends alleged that even though he (Sajeevan) showed uneasiness at the police station, the police refused to help him and sent them out. They also alleged that the police personnel tortured them and that caused health issues for the deceased.
He fell unconscious on the road and was rushed to a nearby hospital but was declared dead. Sajeevan's friends alleged that none in the police station helped them take him to the hospital, the charges which personnel at the Vadakara police station denied later.
However, a report by Vatakara DySP Haridasan accused the police officials of failing to verify and take a medical report of the deceased and his friends who were drunk. It was based on this that three officers were suspended on Friday.
Taking a cue from the allegation that Sajeevan suffered torture in police custody, the State Human Rights Commission has sought a report from the district police chief.