Kerala man committed suicide, no case of custodial death: CBI
The federal agency said in its closure report, filed before the chief judicial magistrate’s court in Thiruvananthapuram, it had found enough evidence to prove that Sreejeev had committed suicide.Updated: Sep 04, 2019 19:59 IST
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) said on Wednesday the alleged custodial death of a 23-year-man in Kerala five years ago was a case of suicide and it could not find evidence he was tortured to death by police in Thiruvananthapuram.
Sreejeev, a native of Parasala in Thiruvananthapuram, was taken into custody by police in connection with a theft in May 2014. He died two days after his detention in Thiruvananthapuram Medical College Hospital. Police said he had committed suicide.
The death of Sreejeev had drawn national attention after his brother Sreejith protested for more than three years in front of the state secretariat seeking action against local police officers. The case was handed over to CBI last year.
The federal agency said in its closure report, filed before the chief judicial magistrate’s court in Thiruvananthapuram, it had found enough evidence to prove that Sreejeev had committed suicide.
According to CBI, Sreejeev was carrying poison when he was taken into custody and police officers put him in the cell without conducting a body check. The agency also said it had found a suicide note from the hotel room where he was staying before his arrest.
CBI also recommended action against four police officers for not taking preventive measures while putting him in the cell.
Sreejeev’s family had said he was innocent and implicated in the case after he fell in love with a girl. Sreejith alleged that he died after continuous torture in custody and his death was later dubbed as suicide to protect police officers.
Two years later, the state’s Police Complaint Authority found that Sreejeev death was caused by custodial torture trashing the police’s version that it was a suicide. The state government then handed over a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to his family. The case was handed over to the central agency last year after Sreejith refused to accept the suicide version.
Sreejith, however, said he was not satisfied with CBI’s closure report and will continue his sit-in protest outside the secretariat.
“The CBI has based its investigation on police and hospital reports that were incorrect. It did not conduct an independent probe. I will continue my fast till I get justice,” he said adding he will oppose the closure report in higher courts.
“The suicide note was prepared by the police. It was not my brother’s handwriting. How can the CBI believe the version of police when they are main accused?” he asked.
First Published: Sep 04, 2019 19:51 IST