NHRC notice to the Government of Kerala over media reports about the arrest of two policemen on suspicion of their involvement in the murder of a youth (31.05.2018)

PRESS RELEASE

New Delhi, 31st May, 2018
The National Human Rights Commission, NHRC has taken suo motu cognizance of media reports that a Dalit, two policemen were taken into custody and questioned by the special investigation team on Wednesday following damning evidence of their role in helping the gang that murdered newly married Kevin Joseph in Kottayam, Kerala. Kevin, 23, belonging to Dalit Christian community, was allegedly abducted by the family members of his wife a day after their wedding from the house of his cousin. His badly bruised body was found two days later in a rivulet.

The Commission has observed that going by the contents of the media reports, the Rights to Life, Liberty and Dignity of the victim have been grossly violated. Such kind of inhuman acts cannot be accepted in a civilized society. The State has a responsibility to safeguard the rights of its citizens from such heinous crimes.

The Commission therefore takes suo-motu cognizance of the matter and directs issuance of notice to the Chief Secretary and the Director General of Police, Kerala calling for a detailed report in the matter within four weeks along with status of rehabilitation/protection provided to the family members of the deceased. The response is expected within four weeks.

As per media reports carried today on the 31st May, 2018, the brother of the wife of deceased and his father have been arrested and sent to judicial custody. One of the accused surrendered in Peerumedu court. He was handed over to the police. An audio tape of conversation between guilty ASI and the brother of the wife of the deceased has also been run on TV channels, which reportedly, indicates involvement of the police personnel in the crime. The Finance Minister of the State has also said that the incident is an indelible blot on the state's reputation.

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