They offered a house worth Rs 40 lakh to withdraw lynching case: Madhu’s mother

The Mannarkad Special Court rejected the plea by Madhu's mother Malli seeking to replace special public prosecutor. File Photo.

It has been over four years since Attappady native and tribal youth Madhu was lynched by a mob who accused him of theft. Kerala High Court, on Friday, stayed all trial proceedings in the case until the Government decided on removing the present Special Public Prosecutor.

The stay was ordered considering the plea by Madhu’s mother Malli, seeking to change the Special Public Prosecutor alleging inefficiency in the conduct of the trial. The HC has also sought the Government’s stand on the same.

Mannarkad Special Court for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled tribes has been conducting the trial in the case.

Earlier as witnesses turned hostile the family suspected a bid to sabotage the case.

What happened to Madhu’s family after his death? Why has his mother demanded to change the Special Public prosecutor? Are there attempts to sabotage the case?

Malli and Madhu’s sister Sarasu open up to Manorama Online.

Madhu’s lynching shook the conscience of Kerala. How did your life change after the incident?

We must say we have died with him. I have not slept well even once thereafter. Life has changed completely. Now, we run between police stations and court, filing complaints, and seeking justice for my son. What is life amid all these? Only we know the depth of our loss and grief. We will continue to fight for justice until our end.

Do you have any threat?

There were threats to life immediately after Madhu’s death. It was terrifying even to be at home. People reached our house and threatened us. The police are aware of such incidents. At present, there are no such threats.

Are there attempts to sabotage the case?

Serious attempts to sabotage the case are going on. The eye-witnesses who saw the mob attack Madhu have turned hostile. We saw even the witnesses whom we trusted to be with us turning hostile, right? That means there is a desperate attempt to sabotage the case. Otherwise, how would a witness who is also our relative turn hostile in court?

We are not able enough to influence the witnesses. They are all rich and influential. They can even buy witnesses. The witnesses who turned hostile are those who directly saw Madhu being attacked by a mob at Mukkali in Attappady. They now say they don’t remember anything or claim to have not witnessed the incident.

What does it indicate when those who had given a confidential statement before the Magistrate, changed their stands during witness examination in Court?

How will my son get justice if such blatant lies are said in court? We were stunned and heartbroken when the witnesses who had participated in the protest demonstrations following Madhu’s death stated they do not know him in court. All hopes are in the Court and Lord Malleeshwaran.

Were there demands to make you withdraw the case? Did anyone approach you to do so?

A few people had visited us at home demanding us to withdraw the case. They offered us a house worth Rs 40 lakh.

Sir, we are tribals. Our life is in the mountains and the soil. Mansions or palaces are not in our dreams. No need to visit us talking about the case anymore, we told them.

I lost my son. They can’t quote a price for him. To me, my son is much more valuable than the huge mansion they offered. Those who came to make us withdraw the case were rich and influential. Even if we starve, we will continue to fight until justice is served. I know them. If they have the audacity to approach the mother of a youth who was lynched to death, will it be tough for them to influence witnesses to turn hostile?

Why have you sought to remove the Special Public Prosecutor?

We requested to change Special Public Prosecutor C Rajendran sir. The trial in the case itself began years after Madhu died. As per our demand, the Government had earlier appointed Raghunathan sir from Ernakulam as the Special Public Prosecutor. However, due to health issues, he could not continue with the trial proceedings. Later, the Government appointed C Rajendran as the Special Public Prosecutor and Rajesh M Menon as the Additional Special Public Prosecutor as per our request. The trial had started only after their appointment.

We had moved the High Court when the trial proceedings were delayed for a long time. The High Court had then directed to complete the case trial in a time-bound manner. Special Public prosecutor Rajendran had obtained permission and exhibited the digital evidence in the Court.

However, while he was examining the crucial witnesses, Unnikrishnan and Chandran, they turned hostile. This shattered our hopes. We felt that advocate Rajendran’s efficiency in the witness examination is not up to the mark. He did not even attempt to make the hostile witnesses turn around in favour of the prosecution.

In his earlier statement, the witness had said he saw the first accused Hussain stomping on Madhu. During the trial, the witness said he only saw the first accused raising his leg. We were convinced when other advocates also said the same. If he continues to be the Special Public Prosecutor for further trial proceedings, we fear we may lose the case. We have requested to entrust the case with the Additional Special Public Prosecutor Rajesh M Menon. There could be a delay in restarting the trial proceedings if a completely new person comes in and takes time to study the case. No one else is behind our request to change the prosecutor. All other allegations are to make us back out from our demand.

Is there anyone helping you with the case?

Many politicians and representatives from different organisations used to visit us at the time Madhu was killed pledging support. Even the general public was with us in our fight for justice. Some organisations, names of which we haven’t even heard of, reached Attappadi for Madhu.

Now, there is none. Don’t know where they all left. Looks like they have all backed out. At present, my daughter and I are running around for the proceedings of the case. We need financial support for all these. We hire a vehicle, reach Mannarkkad Court on the days when the trial is on and return only in the evening. We went to Ernakulam twice to file a plea seeking to change the Public Prosecutor. These are all expenses. Marson, a social worker, helps us with the matters related to the case.

What kind of support do you expect from the government and society?

The Government had appointed the Public Prosecutor we had requested for. They have not been paid yet. We don’t get any support from the Government while running around for the case proceedings, as I had mentioned. Nobody even bothers to enquire how we live.

Unlike the times when Madhu died, there is no strong support from the general public either. They cannot be blamed for that. We lost our blood. We were in the Court during the examination of witnesses who stood by the truth. We could not stand the details they explained in Court on how brutally Madhu was assaulted.

It is devastating to think of the pain Madhu went through before succumbing to death. That is our strength in our fight for justice.

Do you think justice won’t be served?

Our Madhu was not wrong. We sincerely hope that he will get justice, though delayed. Whoever turns hostile, the truth will finally emerge. Justice will be served.

We believe Lord Malleeshwaran would have left some clues for the truth to come to light. The Lord has never put us down.

With tears welling up in their eyes Madhu’s mother Malli and his sister Sarayu said, the Lord will be with us in this fight for justice too. 

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