Former police inspector accused of sexually assaulting doctor found dead

Former CI AV Saiju. Photo: Manorama

Kochi: A former Station House Officer (SHO), accused of sexually assaulting a doctor, was found dead here on Wednesday. The deceased AV Saiju was found hanging from a tree near Ambedkar Stadium in Ernakulam. The High Court had revoked his bail after finding that he had forged a document. The Crime Branch was preparing for the arrest of former SHO of Malayinkeezhu station.

The police had registered a case against Saiju based on a complaint by a woman doctor alleging sexual assault. The complaint detailed instances where Saiju allegedly sexually exploited her under the false promise of marriage. He allegedly threatened to harm her if she disclosed the matter to anyone. Subsequently, higher officials advised Saiju to step down from his duties.

Upon returning home in 2019 from abroad, the female doctor filed a complaint at the Malayankeezhu police station regarding the eviction of her shop. At that time, Saiju, serving as a Sub-Inspector (SI), investigated the complaint and facilitated the eviction. Exploiting their acquaintance, Saiju allegedly subjected her to repeated abuse under the guise of marriage promises. Eventually, her husband left her, after which Saiju began frequently visiting her home. In October 2021, he forcibly withdrew funds deposited in her Kollam bank account and transferred them to a bank in Pallichal, naming himself as the nominee. He allegedly extorted money from her on several occasions. On January 24, 2022, he purportedly attempted to force her into physical intercourse, but she resisted. Angered by her rejection and refusal to be involved with him while he was in a relationship with another woman, Saiju left. Though he contacted her several times after this, she refused to pick his calls. The woman was also hospitalised due to high blood pressure when the threats continued. She was also mentally shattered after her husband abandoned her, the complaint said.

Fearing for her safety, she lodged a complaint with the Rural Superintendent of Police. This was followed by a complaint to the Director General of Police due to delay in action. Finally, as allegations of delayed investigation surfaced, a case was filed against Saiju.

Saiju refuted the allegations, claiming the complaint was baseless. He asserted a prior cordial relationship with the doctor and her husband, which soured when he rejected her inappropriate advances. He alleged that the doctor and others had repeatedly approached him demanding money and making threats. He and his wife had lodged a complaint with the Rural Superintendent of Police regarding this matter.

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