Man abducted, murdered by his brother-in-law

Thiruvananthapuram: In a daring early-morning operation on Sunday, a youth in Kerala’s Kottayam district who had married only last Friday was abducted, allegedly by his wife’s brother and associates, even as police were accused of dereliction of duty despite being alerted about the incident.

Quick departmental action followed the police lethargy in helping the family despite fervent pleas to rescue the youth after he was abducted.

The sub-inspector at the Gandhi Nagar police station in the outskirts of Kottayam, M.S. Shibu, the Kottayam district superintendent of police, Mohammad Rafiq, and an assistant sub inspector attached to the Gandhi Nagar police station were transferred on Monday.

Kevin P. Joseph, 23, a native of Kottayam and Neenu Chacko, 20, a native of Thenmala near Thiruvananthapuram, had their marriage officially registered last week. Following their marriage, Joseph had put his bride in a hostel, apparently fearing an attack by Neenu’s family members.

Just as they feared, a gang allegedly led by Neenu’s brother Shanu Chacko abducted Joseph and his cousin Anish, 30, in the early hours of Sunday and drove off to Thenmala. On the way, Anish was assaulted and let off, but Joseph was taken away.

His father complained to the Gandhi Nagar police on Sunday at 6am, and Neenu, too, lodged a complaint that her husband was missing at 11am. When police failed to act, she sat in protest in front of the police station.

However, the police allegedly told her; “There are some programmes of the chief minister in the district. We are held up with that. We will look into this after that.”

The incident was highlighted by media, forcing the police to begin investigations by Sunday evening. However, Joseph’s body was found in the Chaliyekara river near Thenmala by Monday noon.

The matter assumed political dimensions when reports emerged that a Democratiic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) worker, Niyaz, was involved in the abduction. There were also allegations that police were reluctant to move against the culprits because a DYFI man was involved.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan denied on Monday that the delay in police action was owing to his visit to Kottayam district on Sunday. “When the chief minister visits, it is a separate police team that arranges for security, and not the local police officials. You should know that as a media person,” a visibly annoyed Vijayan told journalists.

Opposition parties held a protest meeting outside the Gandhi Nagar police station, and demanded the resignation of Vijayan, who holds the Home portfolio, pointing to the series of atrocities and failures on the part of the police in recent months.


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