Sreejith, a youth hailing from Neyyatinkara, whose brother died in police custody, has been staging a protest in front of the Secretariat for more than two years. Recently, he has received some belated support from diverse corners in his struggle for justice.
Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala was among the many celebrities and politicians who visited him to express their solidarity. But Chennithala was caught off guard by some supporters of Sreejith.
In a video that is widely being circulated on social media, a supporter of Sreejith's campaign is heard asking Chennithala as to what action he took as home minister.
He also says that when Sreejith approached Chennithala, he had told him that protesting in front of the Secretariat will be pointless and he will be subjected to attacks by mosquitoes.
Chennithala is seen fumbling and questions the authority of the person to raise such queries.
The ex-home minister leaves after offering support to Sreejith in case he wants to pursue the matter in high court.
Sreejith has been demanding that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) take up the case and that due punishment is meted out to the erring police officers.
Supporters of Sreejith have been extremely critical of the political class who had turned a blind eye to the one-man protest till now.
However, 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 on Sunday, promised all support to Sreejith in his hour of need.
On May 21, 2014, Sreejith's brother Sreejeev died while in police custody. Sreejeev, who was arrested for alleged theft, was allegedly 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, no action has been taken against these officials.
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 it 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.