Peermade custodial death: Where did Raj Kumar take chit fund money to?

Peermade custodial death: Where did Raj Kumar take chit fund money to?
Suma, an employee at the chit fund firm.

Nedumkandam: More revelations have been made in the case related to the chit fund fraud involving Raj Kumar, who died in Peermade jail during his remand period. According to Suma, an employee at the chit fund firm, Raj Kumar used to take the money collected from the public to an undisclosed destination in Kumali area.

“The money was transported in a vehicle every day. But there is no information about the person who received the amount,” she said.

The Crime Branch believes that the custodial torture suffered by Raj Kumar has some connection with this money transaction. Suma also revealed that the husband of Manju, another accused in the case, accompanied Raj Kumar during the trips with the cash.

It has also come to light that the Idukki Superintendent of Police (SP) had directed the officers under him to recover the money from Raj Kumar at any cost, following which the torture took place. Incidentally, no case has been registered against the policemen involved in the incident even after the death of Raj Kumar.

The Special Branch as well as the Crime Branch is now investigating the lapses that occurred on the part of the SP. It is learnt that the SP would face action after the agencies submit their reports.

Idukki SP K B Venugopal had directed the Nedumkandam sub-inspector (SI) and the then Kattappana DySP to trace the money that Rajkumar had reportedly siphoned off after cheating investors. During the subsequent four days, Rajkumar was subjected to severe torture by the SI and team at the police station and the house of the chit fund operator. The SP received the reports of each day's developments. When the efforts to recover the cash did not yield the expected results, the DySP was sent to the police station.

The Special Branch and Crime Branch officers have also found that the SP had aided the policemen in destroying evidence and further investigation in this regard is on.

Meanwhile, another controversy has been sparked off by the action of the government to confine the disciplinary action against 13 police officers allegedly involved in the torture to departmental transfers. No police officer has booked over the custodial death.

However, it is pointed out that the policemen who thrashed an accused at Munnar 10 days ago were slapped with cases under non-bailable sections. The Idukki SP resorted to double standards, it is alleged. There are also allegations that the SP had yielded to CPM pressure in the Munnar incident.

Intervening in the custodial death case, the Kerala High Court has meanwhile sought a report regarding Raj Kumar’s remand from the Thodupuzha chief judicial magistrate. The Idukki magistrate who remanded Raj Kumar is now on leave.

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