Police brutality?

Kerala man's stir for justice over brother's custodial death gets support

chennithala-sreejith-chennithala-twitter Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala visiting Sreejith | Ramesh Chennithala's Twitter account

Support is pouring in from various quarters for a 29-year-old man, who has been lying in front of the Secretariat in Thiruvananthapuram for the past 766 days, demanding a CBI probe into his brother's alleged custodial death.

For the man, Sreejith, who has been observing a sit-in protest on the sidewalk in front of the Secretariat, housing the offices of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, ministers and bureaucrats, his only mission is to bring those responsible for the death of his brother, Sreejeev, to book.

Sreejith is on a hunger strike since the past eight days.

As the protest went viral on social media platforms, people from various walks of life, especially youngsters, have been gathering in front of the Secretariat to express solidarity holding 'Justice for Sreejith' banners.

They took out a march on Sunday morning with women also participating.

Congress leader V.M. Sudheeran and young Malayalam actor Tovino Thomas were among those who visited Sreejith and extended their support on Sunday.

The Congress and the BJP had on Saturday sought urgent intervention of the union and state governments on the plea of Sreejith, who has been on an protest demanding CBI probe into the death of his brother, who was taken into custody on the allegation of a mobile phone theft.

Leader of opposition in the Assembly Ramesh Chennithala, who visited Sreejith on Saturday, urged the chief minister to intervene in the matter immediately as Sreejith's health was deteriorating.

Rajya Sabha MP, and vice chairman of NDA in Kerala, Rajeev Chandrasekhar has also written to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, seeking his urgent intervention by ordering the CBI probe.

Sreejeev was taken into custody in May 2014 by Parassala police and the family was told two days later that he died after consuming poison.

Meanwhile, the state government has said it will again approach the Centre seeking CBI investigation into the case.

Vijayan has directed the chief secretary to write to the Union ministry in this regard, an official press release said.

The CBI had earlier informed the state government that it was unable to take up the case and this stand should be re-examined, according to the government.

The Chief Minister's office said that the government was 'sympathetic' to Sreejith's protest.

The government has already handed over a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the family as directed by the Police Complaints Authority.

The state police chief was also asked to collect the amount from the accused police officers.

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