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Two cops arrested in connection with custodial death of prisoner in Kerala

Idukki: Two police personnel, including a sub-inspector, were arrested Wednesday in connection with the alleged custodial torture and death of a remand prisoner last month.

The arrests of sub-inspector K A Sabu and civil police officer Sajeev Antony, who were taken into custody Tuesday, were recorded this morning by the Crime Branch, which is investigating the case, police said.

Shortly after his arrest was recorded, Sabu fainted and was shifted to Kottayam Medical College hospital.

Forty nine-year old Rajkumar, who was taken into custody in connection with a financial fraud case on June 12, was allegedly tortured by police personnel at Nedumkandam Police Station for four days following which he died at the Peermedu sub-jail.

The opposition Congress-led UDF had put the LDF government in the dock over the custodial death and had raised the issue in the state Assembly demanding judicial probe.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had assured that the government would not protect any erring policeman involved in the case.

“No one has the right to keep any person in custody illegally or beat them to death. Such people will no longer be there in the state police service,” Vijayan had told the state Assembly.

Four police personnel– including the sub-inspector, assistant sub-inspector and two drivers of Nedumkandam Police Station– were suspended and eight others transferred in connection with the incident.

Rajkumar’s death had triggered widespread criticism of the state police and the home department, headed by the chief minister.

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