“I want to surge ahead leaving behind bitter memories. As a police officer, I will ensure justice to all victims,” said Chandrika, sister of 27-year-old Madhu, who was lynched by the local people in Attapady in Palakkad for stealing food from a shop, reported HT. She was one of the 74 tribal recruits who graduated from the police training college in Thrissur on Wednesday as a civil police officer.

Chandrika, who joined the contingent through a special recruitment drive, became part of the first battalion in the state comprising of tribal cadets from three districts, Wayanad, Idukki, and Palakkad. Her mother Malli watched her march with the Kerala police in tears. “This is one of the gifts bestowed upon us by our family deity, Malleeswaran,” said Malli, TNIE quoted.

State Director General of Police Loknath Behra congratulated Chandrika for graduating with flying colors after the passing out parade which took place at the Kerala Police Academy in Thrissur.

I want to surge ahead leaving behind bitter memories. As a police officer, I will ensure justice to all victims. – Chandrika

Chandrika got called for her interview on February 23, 2018 at the Kila Centre in Attappadi, while her brother was lying in the mortuary. She later underwent training at the Kerala Armed Police (KAP) camp in Muttikulangara.

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Madhu had apparently stolen food due to hunger last year when he was caught by some men who bullied and beat him up and made a video about the incident that went viral on social media. The insensitivity of the entire incident led to a huge outrage both online and offline, so much so that political leaders also condemned it. While the police managed to rescue Madhu from the mob, he vomited and collapsed en route to the hospital.

This is one of the gifts bestowed upon us by our family deity, Malleeswaran. – Chandrika’s mother Malli.

“The postmortem report establishes that the death was caused due to the beating. Madhu had several internal injuries, as well as external injury marks on his body, including back and head,” Palakkad District Police Chief Prateesh Kumar had told NDTV then.

Rahul Gandhi had condemned the incident on social media and tweeted, “I am deeply disturbed by the savage and cruel lynching of a tribal in Kerala yesterday, captured on camera. We must guard against growing intolerance in our society & speak out in one voice to condemn these acts of mindless violence.”

In his dying statement, Madhu had told the police that he was kicked and beaten by a mob, which even denied him water. He was allegedly tied up and thrashed for nearly two hours before he was handed over to the police. It is also alleged that Madhu was mentally unstable.

By February last year, Kerala police had arrested 10 people in the case including Ubaid TU, the man seen in the now infamous selfie. In November 2018, Kerala government withdrew the special public prosecutor it had appointed in the case after he demanded a higher fee, News 18 reported. The government then appointed Palakkad-based lawyer P Gopinath as the public prosecutor for Madhu’s case in July. However, the lawyer deemed the fee offered to be inadequate so the government canceled his appointment.

Picture credit- HT

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