The Kerala Human Rights Commission intervened for justice to Mahija, the mother of Jishnu Pranoy. Mahija was dragged by the police outside the police head quarters in Thrissur on Wednesday when she was protesting for justice to her son, along with other members of the family. Chaos reigned outside the PHQ where deceased SFI leader Jishnu's family were brutally removed from the premises.
Mahija, her husband, Jishnu's uncle and others were sitting on a hunger strike outside the office but they were brutalised by the police, which raises questions about the law and order machinery in the state. Instead of coming to the aid of a bereaved mother, they used force against her for demanding justice for her son. First they took her to Nandavanam police camp, after which she was taken to the hospital when she complained of ill-health.
"Instead of arresting culprits, is the police trying to arrest the complainants? Are you trying to bring disrepute to this government?", said senior CPI(M) leader VS Achuthanandan.
Jishnu, a Nehru College student of engineering, had allegedly committed suicide on January 6 after the invigilator of an exam threatened to bar him claiming he had cheated.
Mahija, who had said that self-finance colleges were torture camps for students in Kerala, and her family have accused five people for Jishnu's death, including chairman of Nehru Group of Institutions P Krishnadas. He was arrested on Tuesday and released since he had anticipatory bail.
Video of the incident shows Jishnu's mother falling to the ground when the police start dragging other protestors away. His uncle said he was assaulted by the police, while his father said the "treatment was cruel."
The UDF protested against the police brutality, of which there are multiple recent examples in Kerala, and called for a strike on Thursday across the state, except in Malappuram as by-polls are due there.
The police in Kerala have also been known to harass and beat up couples in public places. Their moral policing was also heavily criticised recently after a couple recorded the way police treated them.
Who was Jishnu Pranoy?
Jishnu was an SFI leader and a first-year student of the Nehru Engineering College at Pambady near Thrissur.
He had been accused of cheating by an invigilator. The invigilator also threatened to bar him from exams.
His death had led to a political storm over self-financing academic institutions in the state where voices of students are crushed and malpractices take place.