Thiruvananthapuram: In a massive show of solidarity, scores of social media users, including personalities from the political and film field, took to the streets on Sunday seeking justice for Sreejith whose brother died in police custody.
Now, with his protest reaching the 765-day mark, Sreejith is receiving some belated support from diverse corners in his struggle for justice.
Sreejith has been demanding in vain that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) take up the matter and that due punishment is meted out to the erring police officers.
However, with both the previous and current state governments turning a blind eye towards his demands, the presence of hundreds of youngsters, including Malayalam movie star Tovino Thomas, would have provided some solace for Sreejith. Tovino and the rest, who had mobilized on hearing his plight through social media, reached the protest venue in front of the Secretariat in the state capital, promised all support to Sreejith in his hour of need.
Politicians finally wake up to his plight
Meanwhile, leading politicians have been forced to acknowledge this one-man protest after it created waves in social media circles. Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala and senior Congress leader V M Sudheeran visited Sreejith to express their support for his cause. Sudheeran has also echoed Sreejith's demand that the case should be handed over to the CBI, calling for the state government to take the necessary steps.
On May 21, 2014, Sreejith's brother Sreejeev died while in police custody. Sreejeev, who had been arrested for committing a robbery, was beaten and then poisoned, leading to his demise. The police complaint authority which looked into the matter has placed the blame squarely on former Parassala circle inspector Gopakumar and ASI Philipose.
However, with no action taken against these officials, it was during the time of the previous UDF government that Sreejith started his ongoing protest. Ironically, Chennithala, one of the politicians currently supporting his cause, was the home minister at that time, a post currently held by chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan himself.
Sreejith's body has taken a heavy toll due to this continuous protest, interspersed with hunger strikes. The CBI's stand all along has been that they will not take up this case. At least, the latest turn of events has elicited a response from the chief minister's office that the state government has taken the matter up with the Center and will seek a CBI probe into the case.