Tribal man's death: SC/ST Commission rejects police report; says incident 'caste intolerance'

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Viswanathan | Photo: Mathrubhumi

Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala State SC/ST Commission on Tuesday rejected the police department’s report on the death of the tribal youth in Kozhikode. Wayanad native Viswanathan was found hanging near the Government Medical College Hospital.

The commission asked the police to invoke charges under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. It also directed the police to submit the report within four days. Police had filed a case for unnatural death. Commission told the police that it was insufficient.

Viswanathan, who was at the hospital for his wife’s delivery, went missing on February 8 and was found hanging on a tree near the hospital two days later. The tribal youth’s family claimed that he went missing after hospital security staff alleged him of stealing and questioned him.

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Talking to the media during a press conference, the chairman of the commission, BS Mavoji, said that the police should conduct a detailed and scientific probe into the matter. The commission said the report should be submitted after recording the statement of the people who were at the hospital at the time of the incident.

Mavoji said Viswanathan did not know anybody in the area and did not have any enmity with anyone there. The incident at the hospital was "caste intolerance", he said.

Meanwhile, the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes has registered a suo motu case in the matter. The commission has asked the DGP to file a report within three days.

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