‘False case’ against Adivasi youth: Meat taken from local resident’s house, says temporary watcher

Sarin Saji was arrested on September 29 for allegedly trying to sell wild meat. 

Sarin Saji with his mother Nirmala

Idukki: After the transfer of Kizhukanam section forester Anil Kumar, a temporary watcher has revealed new details in the incident of the Adivasi youth being booked in an alleged fabricated case.

A temporary watcher, Sunil Kumar, has told the investigation officer in a statement that the meat, which officials 'recovered' from Sarin Saji’s auto, was actually taken from a local resident’s house. Mathrubhumi News has accessed the statement given to the probing official.

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Saji was arrested on September 29 for allegedly trying to sell wild meat. A probe was initiated after many protested against it.

The range officer initiated the investigation. He reportedly recognised that the case was fabricated. However, he allegedly did not complete the investigation. Following this, the wildlife warden conducted a two-week-long investigation and later handed over the probe back to the range officer. Sunil Kumar gave his statement to the range officer.

Following this, forester Anil Kumar contacted Sunil and asked to file a complaint saying he was pressured into giving the statement against him. Sunil obeyed. However, he disclosed these details to Neethu Lakshmi, Conservator of Forests (Human Resource Development).

Saji’s parents are in a hunger strike demanding action against the officials involved.

Forest officials had alleged that upon inspection, they recovered 2 kilograms of what was thought to be sambar deer’s meat, from Saji’s auto. Adivasi organisations had accused that the case was fabricated. Political parties protested the action of the officials. They had alleged that Saji was brutally beaten by the officials.

The 24-year-old is a B Com graduate who figures in three PSC rank lists, the family members said.

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