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Ten people in custody for lynching tribal man to death in Kerala

SNS | New Delhi |

Ten people have been taken into custody in the shocking case of the alleged beating of a tribal man in Palakkad, Kerala, leading to his death, The New Indian Express reported on Saturday. The cops had arrested two of the accused on Friday night.

The man, who was reportedly not of “sound mind”, was tied up by the men who accused him of theft.

One of the perpetrators took a selfie with the 27-year-old man from Attappady’s Kadukumanna tribal hamlet before committing the crime.

The custody of the men comes as Adivasi organisations reportedly launched protests in parts of the city demanding that the men be arrested before an autopsy is conducted on the body.

Speaking to the media on Friday, Malli, mother of the slain youth who has been identified as Madhu, said: “It was yesterday (Thursday) evening that my son was beaten up by a group of people in the forest (near Attapadi-Agali) saying that he was a thief. Then he was handed over to the police and soon he developed complications. He was taken to a hospital, where he died. He is not a thief, instead he was not of sound mind.”

Opposition parties called for a hartal in Mannarkad taluk on Saturday.

Reacting to the incident, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had said on Friday that his government has instructed the police to bring those involved before the law.

“This is in no way good for a literate society and the progress that our state has made. I have instructed the state police chief to see that all those who have had a role to be brought before the rule of law,” he said.

Informing of the arrests, Vijayan said that he has “instructed the state DGP to speed up the probe and take strict action in the case”.

“This heinous act is a blot on Kerala’s progressive society. But I want to assure you that strict action will be taken at the earliest against all the culprits to ensure that such crimes, especially against people from communities that were long marginalised, are not repeated,” he wrote.

“Kerala as a whole should stay extremely vigilant to ensure that we continue to remain and progress as a caring, cosmopolitan society,” he added.

State Minister of SC/ST, AK Balan told the media: “Those who did it claim that this youth was a thief, but that’s their allegation. The state government will act very strongly and none who have done this would be spared.”

Malayalam superstar Mammooty, too, condemned the alleged killing.

“Madhu shouldn’t be called a tribal. I call him my brother. The mob killed by brother. If you think as a human, Madhu could be your brother or son. Above all, a citizen with equal rights like us,” he wrote on Facebook.