The body of a Kerala man who died after being allegedly tortured in police custody was on Monday exhumed to ascertain the actual cause of death, under orders of the judicial commission of Justice K. Narayana Kurup.
Rajkumar, 49, a small-time financial agent, died in custody on June 21 after allegedly being subjected to brutal third-degree torture at the Nedumkandam police station in Idukki district.
Speaking to the media, Kurup said the re-autopsy is a must. Kurup was appointed by the Kerala government to probe the case.
"Samples have to be taken, then it has to be ascertained if there are injuries to the bones and such things. The body will be returned to the grave today itself," said Kurup, who was present at the site when the body was taken out.
The body was taken to the state-run hospital at Kanjirappally near here where three police surgeons performed the re-autopsy.
Soon after being appointed as the one-man commission, Kurup had said there is no other way but to exhume the body, as the real cause of the death is unknown.
According to reports, Rajkumar was rounded up on June 12 by a group of people who he owed money to, and handed over to the Nedumkandam police. The police however, recorded his arrest on June 16 and later shifted him to the state-run Peerumedu Taluk Hospital, where he died on June 21.
Though the post-mortem mentioned pneumonia as the cause of death, the autopsy report revealed 22 injury marks on Rajkumar's body, mostly below the thighs, indicating that he was subjected to third-degree torture while in custody.
By now, seven police officials attached to the police station where the alleged torture took place, have been arrested and sent to judicial custody.