Who is Puthenveetil Sreejith? India has witnessed a large number of protests. In fact, protests are one of the pivotal parts of the largest democracy in the world.
Who is Puthenveetil Sreejith? India has witnessed a large number of protests. In fact, protests are one of the pivotal parts of the largest democracy in the world. Puthenveetil Sreejith and his marathon protest has grabbed eyeballs. Sreejith, a youth in Kerala, has been seeking a CBI probe into the “custodial death” of his younger brother. Sreejith’s sit-in in front of the state secretariat turned 765 days. Now the protest has snowballed into a mass protest and even got a social media hashtag. A Twitter campaign was started under the hashtag #justiceforsreejith. The state government has taken cognizance of the protest finally and said it will request the CBI a second time in about six months to probe the alleged custodial death of Sreejeev, Sreejith’s younger brother. It has been learnt that Sreejeev died at a Thiruvananthapuram hospital, allegedly due to police torture on March 21, 2014. The Congress-led UDF was in office at the time. Despite the government’s assurance, Sreejith said, “I will continue this sit-in until my death if I don’t get justice. My brother died after police tortured him. I haven’t got the support of any political parties in this issue so far…. I will go back only after officials responsible for my brother’s death are booked.’’
Joining the protesters, who had organised themselves through various social media groups, was young film actor Tovino Thomas, who said he learnt about the agitation “very late” but came to support a “genuine” demand. “No one will sit on an agitation for more than 700 days if it is not a genuine demand. I too have a brother, and I cannot sit back if someone troubles him,” Thomas said. “Sreejith’s is a model agitation. I hope my presence brings in more people to join this movement.”
A communication from the Chief Minister’s Office said the chief secretary has written again to the Centre, demanding a CBI probe into the alleged custodial death. “The state government had written to the Personnel and Training Department in July last year in this regard,” the statement said. “However, CBI had refused the state’s demand, saying that the case is not one of… exceptional nature, warranting investigation by CBI…” The state, the CM’s office said, wants CBI to “review this earlier stand”.
Sreejeev was taken into custody for alleged theft. While the police claimed that Sreejeev had committed suicide by consuming poison, which he had ostensibly concealed in his inner wear while being taken into custody, the police complaints authority, which probed into the incident, called it custodial death.
The authority, headed by retired High Court judge K Narayana Kurup, had asked the government to pay compensation of Rs 10 lakh to Sreejeev’s family.