Rajkumar's death: CBI slaps murder charges against nine Kerala cops

Kochi: The cops who fatally tortured Nedumkandam native Rajkumar have been booked for murder by the Central Bureau of Investigation.

The Thiruvananthapuram unit of the CBI has filed the charge sheet against nine police officials, including first accused sub-inspector K A Sabu, in connection with the custodial death.

The central investigation agency has slapped murder charges against all the key accused in the case. Apart from Sabu, others booked for the murder are ASI C B Rejimon, driver-cum-Civil Police Officer P S Niyaz, senior CPO Sajeev Antony, home guard K M James, ASI Roy P Varghese as well as CPOs Jithin K George, Biju Lukose and Geethu Gopinath.

Probe against Venugopal not over

The CBI is yet to complete its investigations into involvement of former Idukki SP Venugopal, DySP Shamsh, DySP Abdul Salam, jail officials and doctors.

The CBI will file an additional charge sheet after ascertaining the exact role of more accused in the case.

CBI probe pays off

The CBI had taken over the custodial death case following a High Court verdict on January 24, 2020 on a petition filed by Rajkumar's relatives.

The investigation agency has also attached a list of 152 witnesses along with the charge sheet submitted before the Ernakulam Chief Judicial Magistrate.

Rajkumar, a native of Kolahalamedu in Wagamon, died in custody while in Peerumedu sub-jail on June 21, 2019. He was in remand in connection with a fraud linked to Haritha Finance, Nedumkandam, which he was running. As many as 52 police personnel of the Nedumkandam police station were transferred soon after the incident.

The state government had recommended a CBI probe after the Justice K Naryanakurup Commission submitted a report concluding that Rajkumar died of  police torture. 

The CBI had rejected the earlier postmortem report suggesting that Rajkumar died of pneumonia and also the police investigation report while slapping murder charges against the accused police officers.

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