PTI | Kochi | May 24, 2018

Tripura Chief Minister and BJP leader Biplab Kumar Deb today visited the residence of S R Sreejith who died allegedly in police custody last month, and announced Tripura government’s solatium of Rs five lakh to his family. The death of the 26-year old allegedly due to custodial torture in Varappuzha police station last month had triggered widespread condemnation by the opposition including the Congress and BJP in Kerala. The state BJP had staged a protest in Varappuzha, claiming Sreejith was a party worker. Deb, who reached Sreejith’s residence this morning accompanied by state BJP leaders, consoled the family and said a financial aid of Rs five lakh, on behalf of the Tripura government, would be given to his family.

The cheque of Rs five lakh to be sent to the BJP state unit will be handed over to Sreejith’s family by party leaders, he said. Talking to reporters, Deb, who is in the state to campaign for the BJP candidate in Chengannur Assembly bypoll, criticised Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan for not visiting the family of Sreejith so far. “You are the chief minister of a state, not a party. You should visit the family. I request Vijayan-ji to visit the family and meet his kin,” he said. He said nothing would happen to Vijayan’s chief ministership if he visits his family and consoles them. An administrator should shed arrogance, Deb said.

Describing as brutal the death of Sreejith in police custody, he alleged police was given direction by the ruling party leaders to pick up the youth and torture him. The Tripura CM visited the family a day after Sreejith’s wife Akhila B P joined government service. Earlier, a compensation of Rs 10 lakh and a Kerala government job appointment letter were handed over to Sreejith’s wife.She has been appointed in the Parvur Taluk office in the post of village assistant. Sreejith , who was taken into custody in connection with the death of a person, had died in a private hospital.

Five police personnel – a circle inspector, a sub-inspector and three members of the Rural Tiger Force (RTF) were arrested in connection with Sreejith’s death. Facing flak from the opposition, the state government constituted a special investigation team (SIT) headed by IGP, S Sreejith to probe the death. The then Ernakulam Rural Superintendent of Police A V George, transferred to the Thrissur Police Academy after Sreejith died on April 9, was suspended based on the report of the SIT which found lapses on his part.


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