The body of a 30-year-old cop, Kumar NK, was found on the railway tracks in Kerala on July 25. His family alleged that Kumar was subjected to mental torture by his seniors as he belonged to a scheduled tribe community.
A suicide note has been recovered, which Kumar’s wife, Sajini RS, confirmed to be genuine on the basis of the handwriting. It divulged similar details which Kumar’s wife had shared.
“I suspect foul play. In the letter, my husband has specifically accused some senior police officers of harassing him. They forcefully evicted him from his new housing quarters. He also told me on several occasions about how these people were mistreating him because of his background,” she said.
Sajini RS added that Kumar was being regularly insulted in the camp because he belonged to the Adivasi community. Kumar, according to Sajini, had told her that he was often forced to work overtime because of his caste background.
While the police had registered a case of unnatural death, after the body of the cop was found near a railway track at Lakkidi in Palakkad on July 25, Kumar’s wife alleged harassment on the basis of caste discrimination. She said she will meet the Palakkad police chief tomorrow to register a formal complaint.
The SC/ST commission has also approached the District Collector and SP of Palakkad district and asked to file an immediate report on the death of Kumar. The Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) (Thrissur range) has formed a special team led by the Palakkad Special Branch Superintendent of Police (SP) to probe the case.
Kumar, a Chemistry graduate, hailed from the tribal belt of Attappadi in Palakkad. He was deployed at the Kallekkadu Armed Reserve camp in the district for the last six years as a civil police officer (CPO).
Police said that Kumar was earlier declared as a “deserter” on disciplinary grounds but eventually reinstated into the force.
There have been instances in the past where people have chosen to take up extreme steps alleging harassment by colleagues at workplaces on the basis of caste discrimination. On May 22, 26-year-old Payal Tadvi, a second-year MD in gynaecology at BYL Nair Hospital in Mumbai Central, hanged herself in the college hostel room alleging harassment by seniors. She had been allegedly driven to suicide by her seniors who reportedly used to humiliate her by making casteist remarks against her.