Kadakkal: In a sudden twist to the PFI attack drama here in Kollam district, a soldier and his friend were arrested by the police for filing a false complaint that he was attacked by Popular Front of India activists.
Shine Kumar (35), a resident of Kadakkal and a soldier posted in Rajasthan, complained that he was assaulted by PFI members. He claimed they even stamped the name of their outfit on his back.
Shine arrived home on a month’s leave and was to return to his workplace on Monday.
During interrogation, his friend Joshy said that Shine had filed a fake complaint to gain publicity. Shine and Joshy are at present in police custody.
“We have recovered the paint which was used to mark the letters ‘PFI’ on Shine’s back. Both Shine and Joshy are being questioned by the Rural SP,” said an officer at Kadakkal police station.
“The police had some suspicions regarding the complaint filed over the alleged attack. There were no signs of such an incident at the scene where the assault reportedly took place. We had registered a case against six persons based on Shine’s complaint. However, he gave contradictory statements on the incident. Shine was questioned till 11 pm on Monday and again on Tuesday morning,” said the officer.
“Shine had initially claimed that he was waylaid by PFI activists while he was returning home after repaying some money borrowed from a friend named Joshy. We subsequently interrogated Joshy and he spilt the beans,” added the officer.
What the complaint said
Shine had reached the Kadakkal police station on Monday and filed a complaint over the alleged attack. He was taken to Kadakkal Taluk Hospital, where he was given first aid and discharged.
According to the complaint, the incident took place at Mukkada in Chanappara. “I was supposed to return to my workplace after the end of my leave on Monday. The night before, I had visited a friend to repay some money I had borrowed from him. While riding my bike, I saw a group of people in a remote area. They said that somebody was lying on the ground and asked me whether I knew that person. When I got down from my bike, one man in the group kicked me, while the others rained blows on me. One man took out a shaving blade and tore off my shirt. Then they painted the letters PFI on my bare back,” said Shine.
A case was registered by the police and an investigation was launched. Kottarakkara DySP G D Vijayakumar and Kadakkal Inspector P V Rajesh led the probe. The Forensic team also visited the spot.
Meanwhile, the BJP organised a march to the Kadakkal police station demanding the arrest of those who had allegedly assaulted Shine. The protest was inaugurated by BJP district general secretary Radhakrishnan.
Mandalam secretary of the CPI J C Anil also demanded a thorough probe into the incident.
When the police later questioned Shine’s friend, Joshy, the incident took a completely fresh turn. Joshy told the police that it was he who had painted the letters ‘PFI’ on Shine’s back based on the soldier’s request.
“Initially, I had written ‘DFI’ because it sounded like that. Shine asked me what I had painted and I told him it was DFI. He said it should be ‘PFI’ and I corrected the D to P,” said Joshy.
“Before painting the letters, Shine had asked me to give him some blows. However, I was drunk at that time and couldn’t do that. I told him I wouldn’t be able to thrash him. Shine then said that he would lie down and I had to pull him along the ground. He was very heavy and I couldn’t follow this instruction either,” said Joshy.
“Shine then took a tape and gagged himself. He also asked me to stick some tape on his hands. Shine said that he would do the rest. We then went our separate ways,” Joshy told the police.
According to Joshy, he thought that these actions would help Shine in some way at his workplace.