Ayurveda treatment: 11 Periya murder accused packed off to Thrissur prison from Kannur

  • Action after court finds accused No. 1 is in an Ayurveda hospital for the past month without permission
  • CBI court asks the superintendent to produce the accused No. 1 before the medical board of Kozhikode medical college and file a compliance report by Saturday
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Peethambaran was a member of the CPM's Periya Local Committee when he allegedly led a gang of six men who hacked to death Youth Congress workers Kripesh (19) and Sarath Lal P K (24) on February 17, 2019. Photo: Manorama

Kannur: The special CBI court transferred 11 accused in Periya double murder case to the Central Prison at Viyyur in Thrissur from Kannur Central Prison after it found that accused No. 1 A Peethambaran was in an Ayurveda hospital for one month without permission.

The court in Ernakulam also asked the Kannur Central Prison superintendent to produce Peethambaran before the medical board of Kozhikode Medical College and file a compliance report by November 26, Saturday.

Peethambaran, who was a member of the CPM's Periya local committee in Kasaragod, was admitted to Government Ayurveda Hospital in Kannur on October 24. The jail superintendent did not inform the court as required by the jail rule.

The court came to know of his absence from Kannur Central Prison when he was missing during two consecutive hearings for the extension of his judicial custody. "After every 14 days, the accused are produced virtually before the court. In the first instance, the court noticed that only 10 accused were produced," said an official privy to the court proceedings.

Only when asked, the jail superintendent said Peethambaran had gone to a hospital, giving the impression that the accused was an out-patient. Every day, around 30 prisoners are taken to hospitals. But after 14 days, Peethambaran was found missing again from the line-up. "That's when the court came to know the accused was in the hospital all these days," the official said.

According to the procedure, the prison superintendent should have immediately informed the court if an accused is admitted to a hospital. "The court will then form a medical board which will examine the patient and take a call on the course of treatment and from which hospital," said the official.

Miffed by the lapse on the part of Kannur Central Prison, the CBI special court asked the superintendent to appear in person and explain why the hospital admission was not reported.

Advocate Bobby Joseph Y is the public prosecutor for the CBI.

On Tuesday, the Superintendent appeared before the court and cited "workload", "over-crowded prison" and “staff shortage” as the reasons for not reporting the matter to the court.

The prison officer also said in a statement that he had recently taken charge of the superintendent. Recently was four months ago, said the official cited above.

The court asked the superintendent to transfer 11 persons accused in the Periya double case to Viyur Central Prison. The officer was again asked to return to the court on Saturday (November 26) with the compliance report.

The court will take a call on the appropriate action against the jail officer after receiving the compliance report, said the official cited above.

"Before Saturday, Peethambaran should be produced before the medical board in Kozhikode Medical College. The compliance report should have the medical report of Peethambaran from the medical board," the official said.

According to the doctor, who is treating Peethambaran in the Kannur Government Ayurveda Hospital, Peethambaran suffers from lower backache and piles. The doctor told Onmanorama on Monday that the treatment was almost over and the accused should be discharged in one week.

Kerala Police's Crime Branch named 14 persons -- all of them CPM leaders, members, and workers -- as accused in the murder of Youth Congress workers Kripesh (19) and P K Sarath Lal (24), who was hacked to death in Periya on February 17, 2019. Of the 14 accused, it arrested 11 persons, including Peethambaran in March 2019. Since then, they were lodged in Kannur Central Prison.

After the CBI took over the case, it named 10 more accused and arrested five persons, again CPM workers and leaders, in December 2021. They are lodged in Ernakulam jail.

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