Kumar's body to be exhumed amid fears of flawed autopsy

Justice Narayana Kuruppu
Justice Narayana Kurup.

Thodupuzha: The row over the custodial death of Haritha Finance owner Kumar is unlikely to subside soon as a second autopsy is likely as the Judicial Commission appointed to investigate the case has decided to examine the buried body. Kumar's body will have to be exhumed nearly a month after his death after brutal torture at the hands of a few cops at the Nedumkandam police station in Kerala's Idukki district.

Kumar, 49, who was taken into custody on June 12 in connection with a financial fraud case, died at a local hospital on June 21.

Justice Narayanakurup, who heads the inquiry commission, told Manorama News that they were looking at the possibilities of re-postmortem in the event of the first autopsy report being severely flawed. It is said the information in the first report will prove detrimental to the case.

Given the situation, it is crucial to re-examine the body and get facts straight, Justice Narayanakurup explained.

The failure to determine the age of the wounds inflicted on Kumar's body and send internal organs for further testing were cited as grave omissions in the autopsy report.

Pro-police autopsy report

The current autopsy report is likely to assist the accused policemen to slip away eventually. The report cites pneumonia as the cause of death and has ‘found’ multiple bruises and contusions on the body.

Sources confirm that an ‘incomplete’ report with loose ends will aid the policemen. This could be the reason why the investigators were reluctant to seek a medical board opinion in the first place. The report conspicuously does not link or try to establish any connection between the bruises on the body and use of external force (indicating torture).

Sources said the report should have stated how the bruises and the contusions caused pneumonia. The body tissues were not subjected to a pathological examination. Other possible causes of death had not been listed, they said.

The body was 120 kg, way above normal. The reason for this ‘bloat’ had not been ascertained. Kumar had sought treatment after finding traces of blood in his urine. His kidneys had swollen up becoming twice the normal size: 22 grams. The swellings in other body parts were also ignored in the report.

Arrests and confessions

Assistant sub-inspector (ASI) C B Regimon and driver Niyaz, listed as accused in the custodial torture and death of Kumar , have reportedly confessed to the crime.

Sub-inspector K A Sabu and police driver Sajeev Antony, earlier arrested by the Crime Branch, had told the investigators that Rejimon and Niyaz were the ones who relentlessly brutalised Kumar on various occasions.

The Crime Branch made the arrests on the basis of their statements.

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