Assault of protestors: CM’s gunman finally gives statement after 4.5 months

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Alappuzha: Four and a half months after the brutal assault on the KSU and Youth Congress workers protesting against the Nava Kerala Sadas, the investigation team has finally recorded statements from the Chief Minister’s security officers, including his gunman, who have been arraigned as accused in the case.

District Crime Branch DySP KS Arun, who assumed charge of the investigation in March this year, collected statements from two of the accused — Chief Minister’s gunman Anil Kumar and security officer Sandeep.

Despite notices being dispatched on several occasions and even handed directly, the accused had delayed the recording of their statements citing a tight duty schedule. Their statements were finally collected when the DySP had gone to Thiruvanathapuram two weeks ago in connection with another case. Three more security officials, who could be identified, are also arraigned as accused in the case.

On December 15 last year, the Youth Congress district secretary Ajay Jewel Kuriakose and KSU District President AD Thomas were subjected to a brutal assault by the accused officials. They were assaulted while being taken into police custody for shouting protest slogans at the bus in which the Chief Minister and his team of ministers were travelling. The actions of the accused officials, who abruptly jumped out of the CM’s escort vehicle and struck the protesters on the head with a long stick, sparked widespread controversy.

While Thomas sustained a deep wound on his head, Ajay Jewel suffered injuries on his hand and shoulders. Initially, the police dismissed the complaint lodged by the victims but was forced to book a case after a week following a court’s direction.

Despite the police serving notices asking the accused officials to appear for statement collection, they continued to evade the investigators. Consequently, both Ajay and Thomas lodged a complaint with the Chief Minister, leading to the case being handed over to the Crime Branch.

Legal experts have pointed out that with the accused providing statements, they may face arrest and need to obtain bail . Although the offences invoked against them may carry imprisonment of up to seven years, the possibility of arrest arises only in unavoidable circumstances.


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