Pathanamthitta: Relatives of a 41-year-old man whose body was found in a well in Kudappana, Chittar, under mysterious circumstances are protesting against the Forest Department's report that it was a case of suicide.
The family has dismissed the report and said they will not perform the last rites of P P Mathai till they “get justice”. The body has been kept in the mortuary of a private hospital in Ranni after postmortem.
Mathai's brother levelled serious allegations against the Forest Department. He said that forest officials took him to the forest and drowned him. He said the officials also pushed his mother.
Mathai's wife Shibi also alleged that forest officials killed her husband.
Mathai (also known as Ponnumon) of Padinjarcheruvu in Kudappana was found dead in a well near his home under mysterious circumstances.
The Forest Department formed a special team under Southern Circle Chief Forest Conservator Sanjayan Kumar to inquire into the death. The team’s report said Mathai had committed suicide.
Seven rangers, including the deputy ranger of the Chittar forest station, who took Mathai into custody from his home, have been sent on compulsory leave.
The Forest Department has ordered the inquiry following protests by locals after Mathai’s body was found in the well on the night of July 28.
Mathai was taken into custody on the evening of the same day by the forest rangers for allegedly damaging a camera.
His relatives alleged that the forest officials beat him to death and then threw his body into the well.