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Constables charged with murder

Staff Reporter

Death of youth in custody

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Two police constables have been charged with murder in connection with the custodial death of a 28-year-old youth, Udayakumar, at the Fort police station on Tuesday night.

The accused constables were identified as Jithu Kumar and Sreekumar. They have been booked under section 302 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The preliminary forensic inference is that Udayakumar had died from shock caused due to restricted blood flow to the heart.

During post-mortem examination, it was found that Udayakumar had sustained serious crush injuries on both his thighs. It is suspected that normal blood flow to the victim's heart was affected when a vein in his thigh ruptured on application of intense external pressure.

A senior police official said that the nature of injuries on the thigh of the victim pointed to use of third degree methods for questioning the suspect. "The injuries cannot be sustained in a fall. It could have been caused due to application of intense pressure on the thighs using some wooden instrument such as a pestle. The preliminary inference is that Udayakumar was tortured in police custody," he said. The police had detained the youth after he was found in the company of a person suspected to be responsible for several theft cases in the city.

The police also recovered Rs. 4,000 from the person of Udayakumar. The youth had no criminal background.

However, Udayakumar became the object of suspicion at the police station when he could not tell exactly how much money he carried on his person and from where he had got it. The city police have send on a report on the circumstances of Udayakumar's death to the National Human Rights Commission.

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