Kerala: Court restrains police from disposing of bodies of Victims of Encounter

In an interim order, the court asked the police to preserve the bodies until Tuesday 7 pm.

The Malappuram district court on Monday restrained the Kerala Police from cremating the bodies of two suspected Maoists, who were killed in an alleged encounter with police on last Thursday.

Kerala Maoist Encointer

The court acted upon a petition filed by Sreedharan, the brother of slain Kuppu Devraj, a central committee member of the CPI (Maoist). Another Maoist leader Ajitha had also been gunned down in a brutal encounter that has drawn widespread condemnation, including from the alliance partner in the Left Democratic Front(LDF) government, the CPI (Communist Party of India).

In his petition, Sreedharan said his brother and Ajitha were killed in a fake encounter and the police have destroyed all evidence to hush up the killings. The only remaining evidence are the bodies of the victims and hence they should be preserved, he had pleaded.In an interim order, the court asked the police to preserve the bodies until Tuesday 7 pm. The court would again hear the petition on Tuesday.

Families of both victims had declined to receive the bodies from police after postmortem. People’s Union for Civil Liberties state secretary Advocate P A Pouran, who appeared for the petitioner, said they wanted the bodies to be preserved for at least a week.In between, they would move a petition in the high court, demanding a detailed probe into the fake encounter.

The brutal gunning down of two persons, on allegations that they were ‘Maoists’ has sent shock waves through Kerala and drawn criticism of activists and human rights groups.

“No government has a right to kill the voices that dissent,” said Kanam Rajendran, state Secretary of the Communist Party of India, in Alappuzha. “Such steps to do away with the people who raise genuine issues of the downtrodden should never be adopted by a civilised society. The CPI organ said:“…if Varghese’s custodial killing had shaken the entire civil society in Kerala 40 years ago, leading to the conviction of the police officer responsible for it, this time round it is the duty of the Pinarayi government to tell the people what really happened at Nilambur.”



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