Thiruvananthapuram, Aug 21 (IANS) After 24 days of protests by friends and family of a man, who was found dead inside a well while he was in the custody of the Kerala Forest Department, the Pinarayi Vijayan government on Friday sought a CBI probe into the matter.
The move by the Vijayan government into the Pathanamthitta incident came on the day when the Kerala High Court was all set to hear the plea of Sheba, the deceased’s wife, seeking the CBI probe.
State Forest Minister K.Raju said the decision has been made and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan would make the official request seeking the central agency’s probe.
Forty-year-old Mathai, was the sole breadwinner of his extended family. He was taken into custody by the forest officials on July 28 from his house for allegedly damaging the Forest Department’s CCTV camera kept for surveillance in the forest area.
After a few hours, Mathai was found dead in the well of his farmhouse, located 10km from his home.
Sheba, his wife and her friends and family have been protesting ever since demanding justice for Mathai. They vowed not to conduct the funeral till the wrong doers of the Forest Department were arrested. The body has since been kept in a mortuary.
Hearing the news of the CBI probe, Sheba said even though the Crime Branch has been probing the case, they still await justice.
“Till this moment no arrests have been made. Our position is very clear, the funeral will not be conducted, till arrests are made. The Forest officials are being protected and it’s now been so many days and yet no arrests have been made. Let the CBI conduct the probe and let them make the arrest,” said Sheba.