Thiruvananthapuram: A former forensic director has confirmed in court that police had brutalized a theft case suspect in custody, leading to his death. Dr Sreekumari told the CBI special court in Thiruvananthapuram that it was police assault that killed Udayakumar 12 years ago.
A witness in the case, meanwhile, identified the GI (galvanized iron) pipe that police used in the assault. Such objects are allegedly rolled over the body of the victim in a notorious third degree method.
Dr Sreekumari also identified the GI pipe in her crucial deposition. She said Udayakumar had sustained fatal injuries from the police assault.
The youth was brutalized to death in police custody on September 27, 2005. In a post-mortem examination at the Medical College here, 22 serious wounds were found on the victim's body, including 'rolling' with an iron pipe. As the information leaked, the horror in police custody became a topic of hot discussion.
Allegations were raised that top police officers tried to hush up the atrocity. Hearing in the case started in the Thiruvananthapuram fast-track court in 2007. However, prime witness Suresh Kumar turned hostile, sabotaging the hearing.
Majority of the cops listed as witnesses also turned hostile. Udayakumar's mother then approached the High Court, seeking a CBI probe, and the court allowed it.
The CBI prepared two charge-sheets, one for murder and the other for destruction of evidence. However, the CBI court decided to combine the two and proceed with the hearing.
The charge-sheet alleges that cops K Jithakumar, S V Sreekumar and K Soman murdered Udayakumar as they beat him up and used the 'rolling' method. Former superintendents of police (SP) E K Sabu and T K Haridas and deputy SP T Ajith Kumar have been booked for destroying evidence and forging documents.
Three cops, including two women constables, had submitted to the CBI court that a first information report (FIR) against Udayakumar was prepared and a case charged at the Fort Station only after the death of Udayakumar. The then crime sub-inspector testified that he signed the FIR under pressure from superiors.
Udayakumar and his accomplice Suresh were taken in by Fort Police from near the Sreekandeswaram park at 2.15 pm, but the police had then said they were caught at 4.30 pm. Udayakumar was rushed to the General Hospital in a critical condition by 10.30 pm. A doctor there asked the cops to take him to the Medical College. The CBI found that he died before reaching the MCH.