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Kerala lynching: 8 charged with murder of tribal youth, Centre seeks report

The post-mortem report of the tribal youth showed he was brutally beaten up and two of his ribs were broken in the attack.

india Updated: Feb 24, 2018 21:42 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram
Kerala mob lynching,Tribal man lynched,Jual Oram
A tribal man was beaten to death by a mob which accused him of theft in Kerala’s Palakkad district.(ANI Photo)

Eight persons were charged with murder by the Kerala police on Saturday for allegedly lynching a tribal youth even as the Centre sought a report from the state government on the incident.

The post-mortem report of the youth, Madhu, showed that he was brutally beaten up and two of his ribs were broken in the attack.

The lynching incident occurred at Attapady in Palakkad district on Thursday night after a mob accused Madhu of theft. Many among the mob took selfies during the assault.

“Our ministry has sought a report from the chief secretary about the incident and the action taken by the state government,” Union tribal affairs minister Jual Oram told a television channel.

To protest against the brutal attack, the Opposition Congress and BJP are observing a “hartal” at Mannarcaud taluk, under which Attappady falls.

Post-mortem was conducted on the victim at Thrissur medical college hospital by a team of doctors and forensic experts and they said the victim suffered serious internal injuries in the attack that eventually led to his death. Two of Madhu’s ribs were broken in the attack, the report said.

“We were waiting for the post-mortem report. Since the report indicated attack, eight accused will be charged with murder and other sections of the IPC,” inspector general of police M R Ajith Kumar, who is heading the special investigation team, said.

The state government announced an ex-gratia of Rs 10 lakh to the family of the victim.

Meanwhile, deceased’s sister Chandrika alleged that forest officials first spotted the cave where Madhu lived and they alerted local people about his presence there.

She said the officials should also be named accused in the case.

“After nabbing him he was forced to walk, carrying a big sack, for at least four kilometres. Though forest jeep was there they refused to take him in the vehicle,” she said, adding when he asked for water they refused it.

However, state forest minister K Raju denied involvement of any forest official in the crime.

Relatives of the victim said Madhu was mentally unstable and was staying away from the family for many years.

They said he used to come out of the forests once in a while to collect food items for sustenance and he was not a thief as was alleged by the mob.

The lynching has triggered widespread protest across the state with many taking to social media to condemn the incident.

It also exposed living conditions of tribals in remote areas of the state. Attapadi is one of the most impoverished areas of the state that frequently hit headlines over malnutrition deaths of children.

(With agency inputs)

First Published: Feb 24, 2018 15:47 IST