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Kerala youth demands justice for his brother’s custodial death staging a protest for over 750 days; social media takes up the issue

Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government has decided to approach the CBI again, seeking a probe into the alleged custodial death of a youth here after his brother’s protest in front of the secretariat passed over 750 days.

Sreejith, a native of Neyyattinkara, has been staging a sit-in in front of the secretariat for the last 765 days, seeking justice for his brother Sreejiv, who was allegedly tortured to death by the police.

The government was forced to take some action after Sreejith’s protest gained momentum with many coming forward in solidarity with him.

With no official action forthcoming, protests have mounted in social media as well. Sources said the government will write to the central government, urging the CBI to take up the probe. Sreejith’s health has meanwhile deteriorated following the long struggle, but the government’s stand was that it had done everything possible.

Sreejiv died on May 21, 2014. He was taken into custody by the Parassala circle inspector Gopakumar and ASI Philipose over a theft charge.

The Police Complaints Authority had found that these two police officers had inflicted physical torture on Sreejiv and also poisoned him, leading to his death.

However, with the previous Oommen Chandy-led government not initiating any action against these officials, Sreejith, 29, had launched his stir in front of the secretariat.

Posted by Badusha Jamal on Saturday, January 13, 2018

Over the last two years, he has been leading his struggle, with a few friends for company.

However, now, thanks to the social media, numerous young people are arriving to extend their support to his stir. They also take care not to allow political parties to hijack the agitation.

According to the government, an aid of Rs 10 lakh has been handed over to Sreejiv’s family and a CBI probe sought into case.

Opposition Congress and BJP on Saturday sought urgent intervention of the union and state governments into the plea of Sreejith.

Leaders of various political parties visited Sreejith in front of the administrative hub on Saturday after his story went viral on social media.

After visiting Sreejith, opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala wrote to chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, urging his intervention to end the strike as his health condition was deteriorating.

Chennithala had to face the wrath of some friends of Sreejith who questioned the Congress leader for not doing anything to serve justice to the youth’s family when he was the home minister.

He also wanted the state government to recommend to the Center that a CBI probe be instituted into the death of Sreejith’s brother.

Rajya Sabha MP and vice-chairman of NDA in Kerala, Rajeev Chandrasekhar wrote to Union home minister Rajnath Singh, seeking his urgent intervention by ordering the CBI probe.

BJP state president Kummanam Rajasekharan also visited Sreejith.

(With external inputs)

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