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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Wednesday, 19 January 2022 5.18 AM IST

Tribal man says he was tortured in custody & forced to confess to theft

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WAYANAD: A tribal man’s claim on Saturday that he was tortured in custody and forced to confess to some thefts, led to the Opposition Congress and AISF, the youth wing of CPI and an ally of the ruling LDF, demanding action against the personnel concerned, but the charge was rubbished by a top police official.

Deepu (22) from Athikadavu Paniya Tribal colony near Meenangadi here, told some television channels that he was tortured by police and forced to confess to a car theft case on November 5 and also stealing a bike and theft in a house later. His relatives charged the police with fabricating a false case against him and said he does not know driving.

However, Wayanad Superintendent of Police Aravind Sukumar rejected the allegations and told PTI that the accused used a duplicate key to break into the car and drove it some distance before he was caught by the locals.

“He was trying to steal the car from Bathery. His fingerprints matched in a burglary case, where gold and a mobile phone were stolen from a house. There was another instance in Meenangadi where he stole a scooter,” the SP said, adding that, a detailed probe was being done by the Bathery Deputy Superintendent of Police.

Acting on a complaint by Deepu’s mother, K Baijunath, a Judicial member of the State Human Rights Commission had on Wednesday last ordered the District Superintendent of Police to conduct an enquiry in the issue. The SHRC will hear the case on December 14.

Congress leader and MLA, I C Balakrishnan told the media that the police action amounted to “gross injustice” to Dalit communities and that the Congress will extend legal support to the victim.

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