BJP seeks CBI probe into Sub Inspector Elias’s death

via Pioneer News Service | Kottayam published on April 21, 2008

State BJP president PK Krishnadas on Monday called for a CBI probe into the situations that led to the death of MC Elias, an Assistant Sub-Inspector with the Changanassery police station, who died while trying to disperse SFI and ABVP activists engaged in a clash at the NSS Hindu College, Changanassery, on October 26 last in the context of the witnesses turning hostile. He said the BJP’s argument had been proved true in the issue.

The witnesses, who were Elias’s colleagues, had immediately after the incident, deposed that they had seen a group of ABVP activists beating the Sub-Inspector to death. But when the case reached the court, they changed their version saying they had deposed earlier under the pressure of the circumstances.

Krishnankumar said the witness policemen had given their earlier deposition as per instructions from the CPI(M) bosses. He said Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan should resign as he had sided with malpractices. The BJP leader said that CPI(M) State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan, Kodiyeri and CPI(M) MLA from Kottayam VN Vasavan, “the trimurtis who conspired in the incident”, should tender an apology. He also said the Kerala Police Association and the Kerala Police Officers’ Association also owed an explanation to the people in the issue.

The police had arrested four ABVP-BJP workers on the basis of the deposition. Those arrested were reportedly tortured in the most inhuman ways by the police. However, the witnesses turned hostile. Deputy Superintendent of Police PP Vijayan said that he had understood the deposition of Elias’s colleagues ASI Mathew Thomas and Anthrayose wrongly.

Immediately after the witnesses turned hostile, Suja, widow of Elias, said she had lost faith in the State police and wanted a Central agency to probe the death. She said political interventions had caused diversion in the case. She said that she would petition the National Human Rights Commission and other bodies. She also aired suspicion that the post-mortem report could have been manipulated. Opposition leader Oommen Chandy also has demanded a CBI probe into the death of the police officer.

Elias fell dead on the morning of October 26 last when he had reached the NSS Hindu College compound to end a violent clash between ABVP and SFI activists, which was nothing new at the particular college. Elias in his effort to control the students was isolated from his colleagues and was trapped amidst a group of students, whose identity had now come under suspicion. It was said that he was killed after being struck on the cranium by a heavy rod.

Within half an hour of the incident, Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan and Director General of Police Raman Srivastava had announced in Thiruvananthapuram that the culprits behind the killing were ABVP-BJP activists, a statement promptly rejected by the BJP leadership. About a dozen ABVP-BJP activists were taken into custody and case was charged against four of them. Some of the arrested had to be admitted to hospital after this allegedly due to the brutal torture by the police. Several political parties and rights organisations had described the announcement by the Minister and the DGP as most inappropriate.

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