Farm owner's death: Lapses in completing custody procedures, says probe team
Pathanamthitta: In connection with the incident where a farm owner Mathayi was taken into custody by forest officials and later found dead in a well in Chittar, the probe team found out that there were lapses from the part of the forest department in the custody procedures.
The officers did not record the confessional statement of Mathayi before taking him for evidence collection. It is suspected that there was some irregularities in the documents of the forest department. The initial examination of the documents at Chittar forest station has been completed and quizzing of officials have begun. The lapses in the procedures was identified during this.
Mathayi was not produced before the forest station after taking him into custody and they took him for evidence collection without recording the confessional statement. They started preparing the Mahasar report after Mathayi's death and completed it by next day. The first entry regarding the case was made in the general diary on July 28 at 3.30 pm. The procedures were completed by 6.30 pm.
However, it is learnt that the officials who fled from the scene after Mathayi's death did not return to office even late at night. There are contradictions in the statements given by the officials and office records. In connection with the incident, Vadasserikkara range officer and six others who took Mathayi into custody were transferred from Chittar forest station.
Vadasserikkara range officer B Venukumar was transferred to State Forest Training Institute in Arippa. The officials relating to the incident were removed from duty soon after Mathayi's death.