Kerala: Police manhandle mother for seeking justice over son's suicide
Kerala's LDF government has been slammed over the police's 'high-handed' treatment of a mother seeking justice for her son who allegedly committed suicide after being harassed by college authorities. Mahija, the mother of the late 18-year-old student Jishnu Prannoy, was dragged forcefully by female police and arrested for trying to sit on a hunger-strike in front of the state police chief's office in Thiruvananthapuram.
Jishnu Pranoy committed suicide following harassment by college officials
On January 6, Jishnu Pranoy was found hanging inside his hostel at Nehru College of Engineering and Research, a private college in Thrissur. Pranoy's death was initially considered a suicide case. Following a 'Justice for Pranoy' campaign across multiple colleges, police started investigating other angles and found that college authorities allegedly harassed Pranoy and accused him of copying in exams.
Allegations of copying were baseless, college officials booked by police
The copying allegations were found to be baseless. Police then booked college chairman P Krishnadas, vice-principal Shakthivel, assistant professor Praveen, examiner Vipin and PRO Sajith Vishwanathan for abetting suicide. Krishnadas was arrested and then released on bail. Pranoy's family claims Krishnadas's arrest was a drama orchestrated to protect him. Pranoy's family claims he was murdered by college authorities.
Why Pranoy's family is protesting
Pranoy's mother Mahija, her husband Ashokan and their family arrived at the police headquarters in Thiruvananthapuram from Kozhikode to ask about the huge delays in the investigation. They said they would stage a dharna if police wouldn't give them a satisfactory reply. An argument ensued outside the DGP's office as soon as the family arrived there. The police forcibly removed them from the venue.
Pranoy's mother was injured during the scuffle
Pranoy's family claims that during the scuffle, his maternal uncle was kicked by police and his mother Mahija was assaulted as she protested by laying on the road. Mahija was reportedly injured when female police forcibly dragged her away in a police van.
Kerala police chief tries diffusing situation
Kerala police chief Loknath Behera rushed to the hospital to diffuse the situation after the police action triggered outrage. He said the incident would be investigated. "I had waited at my office to meet the family. I was informed that some persons, who are not related to Prannoy's family, had created trouble which was totally unwarranted," Behera said.
Kerala CM justifies police action, refuses to meet Pranoy's mother
"Police did their duty. Normally, no agitation is allowed in front of the headquarters. The DGP was ready to meet Pranoy's mother. However, outsiders tried to create the trouble," Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan. He also refused to meet Mahija.
Pranoy's suicide has triggered a political storm
The CPI(M)-led government's arch rivals BJP and Congress have both joined hands to support Pranoy's parents. Both parties have called for a bandh in Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode to protest the police action on Thursday. "It is an inhuman attitude. The poor mother who was seeking justice was attacked by the police without any reason," said Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala.