Thiruvananthapuram: An eyewitness narrated the police atrocity that resulted in the death of a young man at Kodangavila junction on Tuesday. The man was fatally knocked down by a rushing car after the deputy superintendent of police (DySP) pushed him onto the street after a spat over parking.
Hotel owner Mahi saw DySP B Harikumar slapping Sanalkumar, 33, a resident of Kodangavila, and taking off the key of his car. Mahi, who owns the Sultana Fast Food facility at the junction, recalled that Sanal was having food there and Harikumar was trying to take out his car from a house opposite to the hotel.
“Sanal's car was blocking the way, and the DySP started shouting abuses. Sanal then paid the bill and rushed to his car. There was an argument with the officer who was in plain clothes. Amid a fisticuff situation, the DySP slapped Sanal who was in the driving seat, and pulled out his car key. He then gestured that he had called somebody and said 'you stay here until the police come.'
“Sanal then moved his car some 10 m away. I could sense trouble and asked Sanal to stay away. But then Harikumar came back and pushed him with force on to the street.”
Harikumar committed the crime at a busy town junction on the national highway. Charged with murder, he has sought anticipatory bail at the Thiruvananthapuram District Sessions Court. The police stated he remains at large, three days after the crime. Meanwhile, other details have emerged as to how the police made efforts to hush it up.
Police harbouring the accused
Mother of Sanalkumar on Friday alleged that the police is harbouring the accused in the case. "I will start a hunger strike in front of the Secretariat, if the police fail to arrest the DySP soon," Sanal's mother Ramani told Manorama News.
A 11-member team, headed by Crime Branch SP Antony, is probing the case. The team includes DySP Sugathan, CI A. Mohanan, four sub-inspectors, four assistant sub-inspectors and 1 senior civil police officer.
The district sessions court will hear on DySP Harikumar's appeal for an anticipatory bail in the case today.
Ambulance re-routed to police station
The driver of an ambulance which took Sanal to the hospital after he was knocked down has confirmed that the youth was taken to the Neyyattinkara police station rather than to the Medical College Hospital (MCH). Police ordered the change of route when he was being taken to the MCH, driver Anish said.
“I was about to switch on the siren when we started off from the Neyyattinkara hospital, but a cop prevented me,” Anish said. “I was wondering why, when he ordered me to proceed to the police station. Sanal, who was fighting for his life, was then taken through alleys to the police station which was half-a-kilometre away. At the station, the policeman got off the vehicle and another officer got in. The siren and lights were switched on only after the ambulance passed the bylane and reached the main road. This is clear from the video recording also,” Anish added.
Local people who had gathered at the site of the crime had asked the driver to take Sanal to the MCH, but the cop ordered the vehicle be taken to the Neyyattinkara General Hospital.
Anish told Manorama that police officers also took him to the Medical College Police Station when Sanal's relatives arrived at the MCH, obviously a bid to prevent them from talking to him. “Sanal was vomiting throughout the journey, though not many serious injuries are visible externally. He was dead as we arrived at the Medical College,” Anish narrated.
Sanal was wounded all over his body, and died of a trauma to his head, the primary finding from the post-mortem said. The victim had cracks to his thighs, ribs and cheek bones, and had suffered internal bleeding, it stated.